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Packaging recycling obligations for packaging producers are determined by national business targets set by the government. In order to account for packaging handled by non-obligated companies the UK business targets are set at a higher level than the European Directive targets to ensure the UK as a whole complies with the European Directive targets.
The previous round of targets were announced in Budget 2012 and covered the five year period form 2013-17. This included a new split target for glass to encourage more cullet to be sent for remelt rather than other applications such as aggregates. The glass targets were amended in 2014 after new data came to light and, following consultation, were extended to 2020. The consultation also included options for revised plastics targets for 2016 and 2017 and extended plastic targets to 2020. In March Budget 2017 the aluminium, steel, paper and wood targets, and the general recycling and recovery targets were set for 2020. Legislation is expected to be laid later in 2017. The table below shows the business recycling targets.
The targets are intended to ensure that the UK complies with the packaging recycling targets set out in Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. While targets in the existing Directive have already been achieved, these recycling levels are currently under review. A target to prepare for reuse and recycle a minimum of 65% of packaging by 2025, rising to 75% in 2030, was proposed by the European Commission in December 2015 as part of the Circular Economy Package.
|by which re-melt||65||66||67||67||67||67||67|
* If in line with Defra consultation options – these figures are not yet confirmed.
|EU Directive target (in place since 2008) (%)|
|Paper and board||60|
|Total recycling and composting||55|
|Total energy recovery, recycling and composting||60|
|Proposed 2025 targets (%)||Proposed 2030 targets (%)|
|Paper and board||75||85|
|Total prepared for re-use and recycled||65||75|
NB: These targets are currently being negotiated by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission and are therefore subject to change.