Latest Public Sector News

29.12.11

Calls to cut over-packaging

The Government wants to cut waste produced at Christmas, and is holding talks with retailers, manufacturers and councils to encourage reduced packaging. They suggest that councils could be dealing with around 1.7m tonnes of household waste over the Christmas period.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) are holding a summit to discuss ideas to cut the amount of waste thrown away over the festive period.

These include consideration of a Swedish law that allows customers to return packaging to the shop they bought it from, supermarkets and food manufacturers to limit packaging, and councils to make sure residents are aware of the recycling schemes in place in their area.

Grant Shapps, the local government minister said: “Taxpayers can prevent their public pounds going straight to landfill by insisting on less packaging and recycling whenever possible.

“At a time when councils are watching every penny, supermarkets should be thinking about how they can help shoppers minimise their waste. I want every supermarket to commit to cutting packaging by this time next year, and taxpayers can help to pile the pressure on in the choices they make.”

The aim is to create a ‘zero waste economy’ in the long-term, so that packaging isn’t created that can only end up in landfill.

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