BPF response to Defra's Resources and Waste Strategy

Posted On: 
18th December 2018

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) sees the release of Defra’s Resources and Waste Strategy as an important step towards the UK using the earth’s precious resources more sustainably.

The BPF welcomes the system-wide approach, and agrees we must all handle materials responsibly across their entire life cycle. From smarter manufacturing methods, well-managed waste processing, to cracking down on waste crime — working together will make the difference. 

It is extremely promising to see the government looking to address the confusion faced by consumers regarding what they can recycle, and its commitment to make collections consistent across the UK. Such pivotal steps will help improve both the quantity and quality of material that we recycle as a country and is something that the BPF has long called for. We are also pleased to see that measures in the strategy, such as expanding Extended Producer Responsibility obligations, should help to boost all recycling rates by including other materials alongside plastics, which will help to tackle the broader spectrum of waste.

Ensuring that plastic packaging is designed so it is easy to recycle is something the BPF is committed to, and we have worked with RECOUP to publish free eco-design guidance. It is positive to see government acknowledge eco-design as important, and we will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure packaging is designed with recyclability and resource-efficiency as primary considerations.  

There are several areas highlighted in the strategy where the plastics industry has already taken significant steps, and it looks forward to continuing this work. The industry has been making strides on resource efficiency for years. Plastic is often the preferred material due - in part - to this and also because it helps lower our carbon footprint. By building on this, we can ensure plastic plays a key role in helping us use our planet’s raw materials intelligently.

The UK should lead the way in developing sustainable innovations that reduce our impact on the planet, and as an innovative industry we can help identify the right solutions that the rest of the world will follow.