UK: Packaging producers to pay full recycling costs under waste scheme.

20. December 2018 | Politics | via

The environment secretary, Michael Gove, has launched the government’s new waste strategy that also tackles plastic pollution and food waste. (Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Retailers and producers of packaging will be forced to pay the full cost of collecting and recycling it under the government’s new waste strategy.

According to an article on, supermarkets and other retailers could be charged penalties for putting difficult to recycle packaging – such as black plastic trays – on the market as part of the strategy, which aims to make the “polluter pay”. They would be charged lower fees for packaging that was easy to reuse or recycle.

As the Guardian revealed last month, costs to retailers and producers will soar under the plans, to between £500m and £1bn annually.

It will see the producers of the waste cover the full costs of recycling and collecting it. Currently the taxpayer, through local authorities, funds 90% of the costs of recycling and businesses just 10%. The scheme could also see retailers and producers pay for the cost of clearing up the litter created by their waste and for the enforcement of the scheme. Launched on Tuesday by the environment secretary, Michael Gove, the government’s waste strategy embraces leading EU policies on the circular economy just as the UK prepares to quit the bloc.

As well as forcing producers to pay millions of pounds more towards the collection and recycling of their packaging waste, the strategy tackles plastic pollution and food waste.