NEWS AND INSIGHT FROM THE FPA
DEFRA CONSULTATION ON CARRIER BAG CHARGES
Defra has just launched its consultation on the proposal to extend the carrier bag charge to all retailers and increase the minimum charge to 10p. Although the FPA proposed the current exemption for businesses below 250 on their payroll, we now support this exemption being removed as it sets a precedent for Producer Responsibility. We have long campaigned for the ending of the de minimus which restricts participation in the PRN system to businesses with a turnover greater than £2 million and placing more than 50 tonnes of packaging handled. This will greatly expand the number of businesses registered beyond the current 6,900, so that in future all businesses will play their part.
With regard to the doubling of the charge, if this is to happen then surely the additional funds raised should be used to contribute towards improvements in the UK recycling infrastructure? The consultation also seeks feedback on a proposal requiring all producers of single use carrier bags to report how much they sell. We believe this will include manufacturers, importers and distributors. The consultation survey can be accessed through this link. The closing date is 22 February 2019 and we urge relevant members to contribute.
FPA SEMINAR ATTRACTS STRONG INTEREST
This year’s FPA Environment Seminar has attracted top-level speakers and much interest following the switch to a London venue. The event has attracted a particularly strong speaker line-up, headlined by Defra Minister Therese Coffey and including in the morning session Lord Deben, Professor Richard Thompson of the University of Plymouth, Professor David Bucknall from Heriot-Watt University and Andy Rees, Head of Waste Strategy at the Welsh Government. Mark Pawsey MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Packaging, is chairing the afternoon session, which features the WWF’s Tony Juniper. There will be plenty of time for questions and debate throughout the day.
The Seminar also achieved positive exposure in Packaging News this week.
CHEMICAL PLASTICS RECYCLING PLANT REFLECTS INCREASED ATTENTION
This week has seen the announcement of a new chemical plastics recycling facility to be built at Swindon, as reported in edie.net. This is exciting news as we have noticed an increased interest in chemical recycling in the media in recent weeks.
It was reported in the US this week that new investment in plastics for fuels is gaining interest with investment in a new plant in Indiana. US site Waste Dive reported that ‘business models that weren’t previously viewed as viable are now back on the table. PTF models increasingly fit into that category.’ Read more here.
The FPA is concerned over the tone and content of this misleading article in Wednesday’s Evening Standard, reflecting the media myths that are perpetuated about plastics. We’re developing our response.
Another interesting article this time in Comment Central on why the plastics ban isn’t going to work.
This article in The Guardian also has an interesting perspective – the issue is bigger than coffee cups.
Good comment from Philip Chadwick on the Defra Resources and Waste Strategy in Packaging News this week.
We also had the announcement this week, as reported by ITV in the West Country, of a new polystyrene dry recycling facility in Devon, which is good news. Read here.
Let’s Recycle has reported this week that the Environment Agency is to ‘increase the focus on the monitoring of sites issuing packaging waste recovery notes (PRNs) during 2019.’ Read more here.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the FPA please contact Caroline Crawford by email