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NCF Responds to DEFRA consultation

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NCF responds to DEFRA consultation about Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging

We welcome a new move by DEFRA designed to increase recycling by making the producer responsible for covering the costs of either recycling materials that can be recycled i.e. paper, glass, aluminium, steel plastic and wood, or the costs of not recycling materials and products that cannot be recycled.

This includes the cups that you get your take-away coffee or soup in. The people who sell you the soup have to take back the cups they sell their product in. We are happy to see this made mandatory.

For us there were two stand-out issues in this consultation. One more simple and cheaper: there should be only one label for “recycle” and one for “don’t recycle” to minimise consumer confusion.

The second point is one that we find ourselves making all the time to government departments or indeed anyone who will listen – namely that the regulators (in this case, Environment Agencies) should not only be given the responsibility of policing the regulation but should be given the funding to do the job. Without that the recycling/non-recycling targets will not be met.

We are getting beyond bored with legislation that purports to help consumers but achieves nothing because there is no enforcement muscle behind it. Such legislation is nothing but window-dressing – putting Ministers in a good light and leaving enforcement authorities – local and central – to take the flak for not enforcing the law.

We look forward to seeing the proposals in due course.

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