SEPTEMBER 2009

Campaign launched by European plastics industry
Survey reports ‘high risk’ of raised tax if government targets missed

A ground-breaking campaign was launched by the plastics industry to challenge itself, government and consumers to step up recycling and to stop sending plastic to landfill.

The Plastics 2020 Challenge is the first time plastics manufacturers and processors themselves have called for a widespread and open debate and set their own targets for helping make the country greener.

The plastics industry is pledging several commitments on the “four R’s” – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover, including doubling the recycling rate of plastic packaging by the year 2020.

The campaign also challenges the government, environmental groups and consumers to join forces with the industry to get more out of the resources we all use.

The campaign launched a website, www.plastics2020challenge.com, urging members of the public and interest groups to join the debate on the benefits, use and disposal of plastic products and packaging.

In a radical move other environmental campaigners, such as Friends of the Earth, will be encouraged to take part in regular web debates – on subjects such as marine littering and bio plastics. The sponsors of the Plastics 2020 Challenge believe that only an honest, open and rational debate on controversial issues will lead to a consensus about how to move forward.

The Plastics 2020 Challenge has been welcomed by WRAP, the government-sponsored waste reduction and recycling agency, and the Local Government Association.

Underpinning the scale of the Challenge are the findings of research by ComRes which showed that almost a third of councillors do not expect to meet the government’s targets for recycling, composting and energy recovery next year while a third did not know if they would meet the targets for 2015 and 2020.

Almost a fifth of councilors reported a high or very high risk of council tax bills having to rise in 2020 because the target would not be met. Asked about the scale of potential council tax increases if the target was missed, 18 percent said it would be above 5 percent, with half of those respondents saying it would be over 10 percent.