UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has introduced a strategy where businesses and manufacturers will have to pay the complete costs involved in recycling or disposing of packaging waste.
Gove unveiled the Resources and Waste Strategy at Veolia’s recycling centre in London.
The latest move will overhaul the waste system in the UK, putting legal responsibility on those who produce damaging waste.
It is also aimed at eliminating avoidable plastic waste and helps the environment to recover.
Gove said: “Our strategy sets out how we will go further and faster to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Together, we can move away from being a ‘throw-away’ society, to one that looks at waste as a valuable resource.
“We will cut our reliance on single-use plastics, end confusion over household recycling, tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay, and end the economic, environmental and moral scandal that is food waste.
“Through this plan, we will cement our place as a world leader in resource efficiency, leaving our environment in a better state than we inherited it.”
The government will focus on introducing a consistent set of recyclable material for collection in a move to increase recycling levels.
The industry will fund the scheme through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and will pay high fees if products are harder to reuse, repair or recycle.
EPR will raise between £0.5bn and £1bn funding annually for recycling and disposal of packaging.
As part of the strategy, the government will focus on various initiatives such as ensuring producers pay the full net costs of disposal or recycling of packaging and introducing consistent labelling on packaging.
It also plans to increase the rate of recycling single-use drinks containers such as bottles, cans, and disposable cups through a deposit return scheme.