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Published: Oct 3, 2018 Updated: Feb 20, 2024
Published: Oct 3, 2018 Updated: Feb 20, 2024

Graham Pollard

Lead Researcher for the Business Development Team with a wealth of knowledge having joined the family business in 1985.

Government ‘mulls new tax’ on retailers for cardboard waste

The government could introduce new taxes on retailers using large amounts of cardboard, as part of the Resources and Waste Strategy.

While retailers currently pay towards collection and recycling of the cardboard waste they produce through the Packaging Recycling Obligation system, councils spend millions of pounds annually for collection and recycling.

Labour MP Mary Creagh, chairman of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Online retailers should pay to recycle their packaging, but the UK’s recycling system lets them off the hook, leaving cash-strapped councils and taxpayers to pick up the tab.”

Lee Marshall, of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, said: “Years of austerity mean council budgets have been heavily squeezed, so it’s time for the UK to reform packing regulations so that producers pass funding through to local authorities to support and expand recycling collections.”

One suggestion is couriers collect unwanted boxes from customers while they make their rounds.

Amazon, the world’s biggest retailer, has said it has made efforts to reduce the amount of packaging it uses.

A spokesman said: “We have introduced a number of sustainable packaging initiatives, like Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging, which promotes easy-to-open, 100% recyclable packaging and lets us ship products in their own packages without additional boxes.

“Over the past 10 years, we have eliminated more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials, avoiding the use of 500 million shipping boxes.”

Source: Packaging News

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PET (1) and HDPE (2) are widely accepted in household recycling waste. Soft/flexible LDPE (4) products like carrier bags can be taken to supermarkets. Remember that recycling facilities differ between councils, so check with your local authority to see what you can put in your home recycling bin.



PET or PETE. Polyethylene terephthalate e.g. soft drink bottles, fruit punnets.



HDPE. High-density polyethylene e.g. milk bottles, shampoo bottles



PVC. Polyvinyl chloride e.g. window frames, shower curtains, toys.



LDPE. Low-density polyethylene e.g. carrier bags, rings/yokes for multipacks of cans.



PP. Polypropylene e.g. bottle caps, margarine tubs, carrier bags.



PS. Polystyrene e.g. takeaway cups and containers, yoghurt pots.