NEWS & INSIGHT FROM THE FPA
IT MUST BE RECOGNISED THAT PAPER CUPS ARE RECYCLABLE
The release of the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG) Report demonstrates a marked increase in paper cup recycling rates. Paper cup recycling has come a long way in five years with large increases in collection points and the capacity to recycle more than the number of cups placed on the market. The PCRRG is a superb example of the benefits of collaborative working and has set the template for other packaging formats to follow.
The Report demonstrates some great examples of paper cup recycling in coffee shops, cities, transport hubs, education and workplaces large and small, and signposts operators to how they can get involved.
Figures from Valpak show that since its launch in 2018 the National Cup Recycling Scheme has collected and recycled over 150 million cups. There has been an increase of nearly 50% in the average number of cups being collected each day through the Scheme between the first and second years and although the number of cups being recycled per month has slowed recently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, cup recycling has not halted entirely.
Executive Director Martin Kersh says: “The figures prove that paper cups are recyclable. Now the infrastructure is in place the challenge is to communicate how the public can play their part in returning cups to coffee shops when safe to do so again and using bring banks. As we look towards extended producer responsibility we must lobby for schemes such as the PCRRG to be funded from EPR revenues on the grounds of being better placed to deal effectively with the waste management of single use cups than any scheme arising out of EPR, should one emerge.”
Read the PCRRG press release here.
VAT CUT & EAT OUT TO HELP OUT VOUCHERS
The support to get the hospitality sector back on its feet is greatly welcomed but how does this work for takeaways and home delivery?
The VAT reduction from 20% to 5% applies to:
- hot and cold food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on which they are supplied
- hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises on which they are supplied
This means that fish and chips attract 5% VAT but the can of pop 20% unless consumed in the premises in which case the can attracts a 5% rate. Not many customers ask for a ‘to go’ coffee with their Chinese takeaway. A sophisticated till is certainly needed but many smaller, independent takeaways don’t have such technology. In any event the public, other than maths graduates, will inevitably be confused
EAT OUT TO HELP OUT SCHEME
Whilst we might all be looking forward to a meal out on the Chancellor, this scheme does not apply to takeaway or home delivery. Surely the aim is to build up operators’ businesses back to where they was pre-pandemic. In or out, it is still much needed business. The move suggests restaurants need support but that takeaways are doing OK so don’t need it, which is far from the reality. Note even if ordered in a restaurant but then taken away the voucher does not apply.
It is hoped the Treasury and HMRC will give more thought to the practicalities while retaining the excellent intentions.
WRAP CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT GROUP
This collaborative action group forms part of the UK Plastics Pact and seeks to help tackle citizen frustrations by providing balanced fact-based information, increase recycling by clarifying what can be recycled and facilitate alternatives. The Clear on Plastics web page provides useful information to help achieve the objectives. The group is an excellent forum to share insights and ideas to improve communication. While specific outcomes from the group meetings cannot be reported at this stage the public conversation on plastic packaging has altered in the last few months and needs to be understood to help the public understand their role in achieving higher levels of recycling. Dialogue with the public is needed as they are mainly confronted with information that lacks evidence such as ‘opinion’.
VEOLIA PLASTIC RECYCLING REPORT
A new report titled ‘Examining Material Evidence – The Carbon Fingerprint’, commissioned by Veolia and published by Imperial College, highlights the importance of plastic as a material compared to alternatives when examining the carbon emissions. The report analysed over 70 life-cycle assessments to evaluate the environmental impacts of packaging alternatives over their life-time, including impacts from mining, manufacturing, logistics, usage and end-of-life management covering recycling or disposal. By assessing many different studies with different assumptions the overarching message is clear, that plastic can provide the lowest carbon emissions of available materials providing it is recycled properly, and effectively debunking the growing movement to switch away from plastic in all scenarios. Read more here, the report is on our website here.
HMRC & PACKAGING FEDERATION TO SPEAK AT WEBINAR 16 JULY
We’re delighted to welcome Dick Searle from the Packaging Federation and Chloe Harkness from HMRC to our next webinar on 16th July at 3.30pm. Dick will give an update on the industry as we gradually emerge from lockdown and his views on how the sector will cope with challenges over the coming months. Chloe will be giving more insight into the Plastics Tax and timings of both the delayed consultation and implementation.
To register, click here.
If you have any questions or comments you would like to submit in advance please email Lisa.
CORONAVIRUS RELATED NEWS
The FPI (the Foodservice Packaging Institute, the equivalent of the FPA in the USA), has produced a good FAQ paper answering questions about foodservice packaging and its safety in the pandemic. The PDF is on our website here.
Resource Magazine reports that 85% of Brits believe food packaging should be compostable. The poll of 2,104 UK consumers sheds new light on how the UK’s relationship with plastic has changed during the country’s lockdown. Read here.
Edie reports on a survey that three-quarters of UK businesses are ‘reconsidering their environmental credentials due to Covid-19’. Read here.
The British Plastics Federation has shared a paper from the EU setting out options for operators who hold an EU Ecolabel contract. The PDF is on the FPA website here.
Let’s Recycle reports that two recycling companies have warned that a small number of operators exporting plastic are tarnishing the reputation of the UK industry. Read here.