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Press releases

22 November 2017

BSDA responds to Autumn Budget 2017

In today’s Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the Treasury will investigate how the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items can reduce waste.

Gavin Partington, Director General at British Soft Drinks Association, said:

“The soft drinks sector has always taken recycling, littering and the environment very seriously. PET plastic bottles used within the sector are 100% recyclable and it is important that consumers are encouraged to dispose of recyclable materials responsibly.

“We acknowledge that more needs to be done, and we want to work with Government and others to address issues within our current recycling infrastructure as a matter of priority.

“The existing pressures facing our sector over Brexit and an impending tax on soft drinks companies should not be under-estimated.”


Notes to Editors:

BSDA highlights issues within the current recycling infrastructure:

The need for a better Kerbside Collection System:

  • UK has a well-established kerbside recycling system, which captures 74% of plastic drinks bottles (source: Valpack). However, issues remain with kerbside collections which negatively impact on recycling rates:
  • 89% of households are confused on recycling (source: Wrap).
  • Two thirds (66%) of the UK public are ‘frustrated’ that different councils recycle items in different ways (source: Viridor).
  • As a result, 400,000 tonnes of “mixed” recycling goes straight to landfill because it has been contaminated by the wrong type of recycling (source: Wrap).
  • Only four in ten (43%) are very confident that they put different waste in the right bins – a 6% fall since 2016 (source: Viridor).

A broken packaging recovery and compliance (PRN) system:

  • Current system incentives plastic being sent overseas: Nearly two thirds of UK plastic is exported for recycling, and it is not always clear where the plastic ends up. Industry want to see this plastic staying in the UK for recycling, and providing high quality material to be re-used in bottles.
  • Clearer transparency on company investment: Money invested by manufacturers in the PRN system should be used to boost recycling infrastructure, help reduce litter and consumer facing communications campaign. At present it is not clear where, or how, money invested by companies is being spent.
  • Price volatility: The price of plastic PRNs compared to other materials is much more volatile, creating a difficult environment for long-term investment in infrastructure and communications campaigns. 

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 Rum Gill 

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