The government has increased its recycling targets for waste packaging – they will begin in January 2013, reports

The new targets will affect nearly every kind of material used in UK packaging – including plastics, aluminium, glass and steel materials – and are replacing existing packaging recycling legislation, which expires at the end of this year.

As part of the Draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 bill, plastic recycling targets will jump from 32 per cent a year to 57 per cent by 2017.

Split targets will apply to glass, according to, with the 63 per cent required today from remelted glass increasing to 64 per cent by 2017. There will be a recycling target of 81 per cent overall.

Aluminium meanwhile will increase to 55 per cent from 40 per cent, while steel rises to 76 per cent from 71 per cent – also within a four year period starting next year. Wood and paper/card will remain at 22 per cent and 69.5 per cent respectively, highlighting the only consistent target.

In parliament yesterday (November 28), environment minister Richard Benyon suggested that the whole nation stands to benefit should consumers continue to use their recycling bins.

He said: “Overall, we estimate the entire package of targets will bring a net benefit of £181 million to the UK economy over the period 2013 to 2017. Most of the anticipated benefits, over 95 per cent, will come from revenue generated from recycled materials.”

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