FPA RESPONSE TO TREASURY REPORT ON SINGLE USE PLASTIC
EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.02 Saturday 18 August 2018
18 AUGUST 2018
Executive Director of the Foodservice Packaging Association, Martin Kersh, makes the following statement in response to the Treasury Consultation Report on Single Use Plastic (18 August 2018)
“The FPA welcomes all policies that encourage plastics recycling and enables the full value of used plastics to be realised as our society moves towards a circular economy. We are therefore pleased to be in discussions with the Treasury on how the tax system can be applied to achieving the intention of the waste hierarchy.
“However, we are concerned that in such a wide ranging evidence call the only packaging items named are paper cups, which contain just 7% plastic and takeaway boxes. The UK now has the capacity to recycle every single cup used. The industry has been establishing schemes to ensure cups are collected and taken to recyclers who are able to utilise the plastic element and retrieve high quality fibres to be used in a number of applications so saving virgin material.
“The coffee shop industry and its suppliers has put in a huge effort and resources into achieving this infrastructure, so the prospect of taxation, which according to research will reduce demand rather than increase reusable usage, is a disincentive to further investment.
“The UK much needs an on-the-go waste management infrastructure. This requires investment and is why the FPA has campaigned strongly for reform of the Packaging Recovery Note system which sees businesses paying greatly increased sums to account for the packaging they place on the market and ensure they are recycled. This reform would encourage the use of recycled content and encourage packaging that is easier to recycle.
“PRN reform will also ensure all funds raised would be devoted to collection, sortation and recycling and would help Local Authorities. By contrast, the UK does not hypothecate its taxes and we feel the Treasury must ensure the public understands that none of the funding raised from potential taxation is to be targeted towards investment in recycling facilities, something which the public are demanding.
“The Treasury would like businesses to change the plastics they use. Changing the material input on packaging machinery is complex and if taxes are to proceed then we ask the Treasury gives business three years in order to make the changes rather than scrap current equipment.
“We look forward to working with the Treasury as we broadly share the same aims, however we need to ensure business is not placed under huge stress at a time of Brexit uncertainty in order to achieve them.”
18 August 2018
Editorial contact is Felicity@Leapfrogpr.com or call 01242 282000 or mobile 07887 608353
Martin Kersh can be contacted on 07711 142789