Are you part of the green revolution? Do you follow the ‘recycle and reuse’ mantra?
If yes, then you’ll be happy to know about the new change that will kick-start this year. It seems that the government wanted the New Year to bring about a new revolution.
As everyone in the foodservice industry is talking about the recent ‘Resource and Wastage Strategy’authorized by Defra (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
The new plan declares that the food service industries will now be held responsible for all recycling costs for their food packaging. Plus, they will be charged an additional amount if their food packages can’t be recycled.
How will this impact their business? It seems that this noble cause will come ata hefty price. That’s because the estimates show that grocery stores and food producers will have to pay between £500m and £1bn per year to meet the requirements. Moreover, the government promises to use this strategy to simplify the complicated recycling system in the country.
The Environmental Secretary, Michael Gove explains the reasoning behind this new law:
“We will cut our reliance on single-use plastics, end confusion over household recycling, tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay, and end the economic, environmental and moral scandal that is food waste.”
As great as it sounds, we wonder what the real players think about this revolutionary idea.
Here are a handful of reactions from the renowned food packaging companies about this decision:
The CEO at Biffa (Michael Topham) is ecstatic about the recent developments, he says,
“We’ve been highlighting the need for increased producer responsibility to tackle waste at source, particularly plastics and phasing out hard to recycle materials, so it’s good to see this reflected in the strategy. Measures like an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme should encourage and incentivise waste producers to rethink packaging design for recyclability.”
Moreover, he believes that this will open up new jobs at the foodservice packaging sector. This will be the result of an increase in investments by big names to collaborate with their manufacturers for eco-friendly packaging.
On the other hand, The Packaging Federation’s chief executive isn’t too thrilled about the idea. He thinks that businesses like his are getting their due rights as the producers will now be obligated to bear their burden. Nonetheless, he warns that the inflation in prices might trigger an upheaval in the consumer circles.
He thinks that“None of these proposals will work unless consumers do their bit. If we want to live the way we do then everyone has to play their part.”
Apart from these mixed reactions, some business sectors are disappointed at the lack of details mentioned in the scheme.
For instance, they want to know answers to questions like:
- What materials will be considered ‘recyclable’?
- How long will it take to see the results?
- What role would the consumers play?
On the whole, this is a ‘step in the direction’, but the general consensus is that it is too soon to tell how things will pan out. Until then, food suppliers and producers should team up with eco-friendly foodservice packaging companies to cut down their wastage.
What’s your take on this government plan?