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BPF outlines vision for reducing plastic waste

THE British Plastics Federation (BPF) has released a new document outlining its vision to reduce the impact of plastic waste.

The organisation said the document, titled Plastics: A Vision for a Circular Economy, is intended to drive innovation and improve recycling rates. The measures are part of an industry goal to ensure all plastic packaging and single-use items are reused, recycled or recovered by the year 2030.

The BPF said the plastics sector would like to see zero plastic packaging being sent to landfill and a significant reduction in plastic entering the sea from the UK. To help achieve this, the industry has already proposed extending and revising the current Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system. The BPF said it believes the current PRN system should be extended to include plastic items that are not packaging products but are used in conjunction with food and drink consumed ‘on the go’, such as cutlery or straws. However, the organisation said revisions to the current system need to support the development of the UK’s recycling infrastructure.

The document also explains how the plastics industry would like to help deliver a “streamlined” recycling system, simplifying communication and eliminating confusion.

The BPF said it will also be consulting members with the aim of agreeing a set of “traffic light systems” and best practice design tools in a bid to encourage brands and retailers to make the best decisions when designing their products.

Philip Law, director-general of the BPF said, “Plastic waste is an urgent issue and all of us have a shared responsibility to do something about it. As an industry, we want to play our part in reducing plastic waste so we leave the environment in a better place for generations to come. Our ambition is to agree upon industry-standard traffic light systems and best practice design tools that can be used by manufacturers to advise brands and retailers on the recyclability and sustainability of their products.

“As an industry, we will also continue to invest in innovation so that we can realise our vision to see 100% of plastic packaging reused, recycled or recovered. We will work with government to make it easier for consumers to consistently recycle plastic products wherever they live in the UK. The action we have announced today is driven by our passion for seeing our products used even more sustainably.”

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