Tax breaks on recycled content set for inclusion in UK’s Resources and Waste Strategy

20th June 2018 | Recycling

Increased rates of tax on virgin materials, couple with tax breaks for manufacturers using recycled content in their products, are set to be included in the Government’s new Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS), a Defra official has revealed. Speaking at the launch of an Aldersgate Group report into waste management in London yesterday (19 June), Defra’s deputy of waste and recycling, Chris Preston, confirmed the measures alongside eco-modulated fees, claiming the moves will “stimulated the nation’s market for secondary materials.”

“The focus on how we look at resources and waste has shifted from just waste streams and post-use recycling to move things further up the product lifecycle,” Preston said. “What we do with items at the end of life is where policies generally tend to be more developed as this is where thought has been in the past, but what we want to create is a coherent, end-to-end approach to managing our resources in a more efficient way.”

The much-anticipated RWS, which the Government previously claimed would “make the UK a world leader in terms of competitiveness, resource productivity and resource efficiency,” is due for publication by the end of 2018, after a series of delays.

While explaining that the document would facilitate the “coming together” of the Clean Growth Strategy, Industrial Strategy and 25-year Environment Plan, to provide a “more coherent roadmap”, Preston also mooted that a deposit return scheme would be included in the strategy in addition to a “refreshed approach” to waste crime. He additionally confirmed the inclusion of a consultation on whether the nation’s packaging recovery note (PRN) system should be reformed to boost transparency and drive better product design – a move the likes of the Foodservice Packaging Association, Incpen and WRAP have been campaigning for.

The final detail revealed by Preston was a new approach to packaging which would see companies take on extended producer responsibility for the materials they use to house products.

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