Businesses to pay to recycle waste under government plans

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Businesses to pay to recycle waste under government plans

Related tags: Plastic, Restaurant, Waste

Businesses in England will have to cover the costs of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste as part of a new government strategy.

Under the plans manufacturers and businesses will be made legally responsible for creating ‘damaging waste’, and forced to foot the bill if their products are harder to recycle.

The government is also consulting on introducing a deposit return scheme to encourage recycling of single-use bottles, cans and disposable cups.

It is part of a drive to cut plastic waste and reduce its negative impact on the enviromnent.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive, says the measures must be ‘affordable and proportionate’ for restaurants, hotels and pubs.

“[Hospitality businesses] understand there is a need to address issues like single-use plastics and food waste and they are already hard at work,” she says.

“New measures are going to hit businesses at a tough time when costs are increasing and consumer confidence is low. Any new scheme, particularly the deposit return scheme, must be workable and avoid piling further financial pressure on businesses."

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) says it is ‘unconvinced’ that glass drinks containers should be included in the deposit return scheme, as the majority are consumed at home and do not contribute to litter.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) warned the changes could result in 'extra cost pressures' for pubs.

“The proposed reforms to Producer Packaging Responsibility (PRN) are likely to lead to significant cost increases as producers will bear the full cost of recycling or disposing of waste costs and so it is important that brewers and pubs, especially the smaller ones, are not overburdened by the changes," says Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive.

The issue of unnecessary waste in the restaurant industry has come under scrutiny this year, with chefs Neil Rankin and Skye Gyngell among those phasing out the use of plastic in their kitchens.​ ​Rankin has replaced plastic straws with a variety made from corn starch and stopped using vacuum packing two years ago, while Gyngell is cutting down on cling film in favour of a bio-degradable alternative.

Restaurant groups including D&D London and Jason Atherton's Social Company have also phased out plastic straws in favour of greener alternatives.

Deliveroo has introduced a 50-strong line of eco-packaging for its meal deliveries, and JustEat has extended its trial of seaweed-based sauce ​sachets across London.

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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