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Polytag comments on Prime Minister’s recycling remarks
Phil Sutton, an expert in the sustainability and plastic recycling field and founder of Polytag, commented:
“The Prime Minister’s comments are strangely timed and conflict with other messages coming from government. Defra is currently consulting on the roll out of deposit return schemes and extended producer responsibility programmes, and ultimately they are looking for businesses to invest billions to help increase the recycling rate and reduce emissions.
“Plastics have a vital role to play in the protection of products, especially food and drink items. While it is important to switch to more sustainable materials, it will not be possible to eradicate plastic completely. Recycling decreases the need to extract “virgin” resources from forests, oil reserves and mines, to make products and packaging. This means less energy is consumed to manufacture and transport products and their packaging. The recycling rate in the UK has plateaued over the last few years, but remains high and an effective way of reducing GHG emissions.
“We need to invest in increasing the recycling rate and technologies that enable kerbside deposit return schemes are one way of achieving this. Working with the Welsh government, who are pioneers when it comes to recycling, we have shown that households are highly engaged in kerbside recycling, with a 97% engagement rate during a trial in North Wales. Recycling can absolutely help the UK achieve its carbon targets, but we need the government to back innovation and support businesses, rather than make inaccurate claims about the effectiveness of recycling.”