EPR to revolutionise recycling rates in the UK

Falling recycling rates

With recycling rates falling by 2% (44%) across England and the failure to meet the 2020 target of 50% of household waste to be recycled, consumers and those in the waste industry alike question what the solution is to falling recycling rates. 

Why?

Councils claim they are overwhelmed with contaminated recycling whilst facing a huge lack of resources to sort through waste materials for recycling. Brighton and Hove Council reported that around 10-15% of the city’s recycling goes to be incinerated every year. This is due to household waste bins and a large number of communal bin waste being separated incorrectly by consumers.  

Each council uses a different system of what can and cannot be recycled; there are calls from both in those recycling industry and from consumers for simplified recycling terms and further education to make recycling as straight forward as possible.  

The solution

Following the successful introduction of EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) in many nations across the world, the UK government will adopt the new system as one of the answers to falling recycling rates. 

An increased budget allows for better sorting and cleaning of waste for recycling and will compel councils to introduce services such as food waste collections to prevent waste contamination. 

The introduction of EPR will also encourage those with packaging waste obligations to reduce the packaging used for their products and/or use more easily recycled materials. 

"The UK must improve recycling rates; contamination is a big issue and EPR will transfer the onus of packaging waste management from the taxpayer to packaging producers."

Jimmy Dorrell

Jimmy Dorrell, Head of Sustainable Business at Clarity Environmental stated:

“The UK must improve recycling rates; contamination is a big issue and EPR will transfer the onus of packaging waste management from the taxpayer to packaging producers. Dorrell goes on to say, “the legislation will permit a budget of £1.2bn to be distributed amongst councils to better manage household waste and we will work with them to support higher levels of responsible recycling.”

To find out more about EPR or updates on EPR please visit here, or contact your account manager with any questions you may have.

May data released

May’s monthly recycling production report shows improved production across most grades.

30th June 2022

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EPR is coming- is your data ready?

The introduction of EPR is well on its way and eligible businesses should be preparing for the new regulations now.

21st June 2022

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April data released

The monthly data for April, published on May 10th, shows low production across most PRN grades apart from wood.

31st May 2022

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