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Packaging: Waste

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL2592, tabled on 26 October 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they have taken in the last six months to encourage best practice in terms of limiting packaging waste by major retailers; and what action they are planning to take in the next six months.

Answered on

9 November 2017

Our priority is to prevent or reduce waste in the first place – keeping packaging produced to the minimum of protecting the product and communicating with the consumer. Our Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations require businesses to ensure that all their packaging does not exceed what is needed to make sure that the products are safe, hygienic and acceptable for both the packed product and for the consumer. These Regulations apply to those responsible for the packing or filling of products into packaging and those importing packed or filled packaging into the UK from elsewhere.

In September 2016, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and an industry advisory group published a framework for greater consistency encouraging councils to recycle a common set of materials, as well as setting out actions to rationalise packaging, particularly plastics, into items that can be collected for recycling while supporting innovation in packaging design.

Officials regularly meet with businesses and retailers to discuss a range of issues related to the recyclability of packaging. There will also be further opportunities for dialogue between officials and industry to inform the development of the new Resources and Waste Strategy.