Consumer Information Obligations - (ii) Contributing Roles
What can you do about packaging and packaging waste?
Why do we need packaging?
As a consumer, we need packaging on the goods we buy so that they remain fresh, they don’t get damaged and to present us with important information about the products we buy. It is vital that this packaging waste is dealt with appropriately and recycled where possible.
This means that the public must make every effort to use facilities available to them for dealing with their waste effectively.
It is simply becoming more expensive to send our waste to landfill for the individual person, businesses and local authorities. Soon, it will be make more sense financially to send waste for recycling, rather than disposal. Influencing factors for this shift include diminishing landfill capacity and increased costs of waste disposal.
The negative environmental impacts of landfilling can be huge. We cannot expect to keep burying or burning our waste without consequence to the environment and our quality of life.
> Duty of Care – this affects all businesses
> Packaging legislation - companies of a certain size and depending on whether they ‘handle’ packaging are subject to legislation that forces them to recycle packaging waste.
It is becoming increasingly expected of organisations to be seen as being ‘green’ by customers and other companies within the supply chain.
How much waste are we generating?
It has been estimated that between nine and 10 million tonnes of packaging waste is produced in the UK every year, with an estimate of just under one million tonnes produced in Scotland. Paper and glass make up the greatest part of this waste stream.
Scotland's Zero Waste Strategy aims state that by 2025 implementation aim to –
• Provide widespread kerbside collections
• Stop growth of the amount of municipal waste produced
• Achieve 70% recycling of municipal waste
• Reduce landfill of municipal waste from 90% to 5%
• Provide widespread waste minimising advice
• Develop markets for recycled material