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UK recycles 60% of packaging waste

The UK recycled almost two-thirds of all packaging produced in 2008, according to the latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency.

Last year UK businesses contributed to the recovery of more than seven million tonnes of packaging waste of which 6.6 million tonnes were recycled, the equivalent of saving roughly 8.9 million tonnes of CO2.

Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said:

“This is a really significant achievement and shows that we are making good progress on packaging recycling. Businesses which handle packaging have a vital role to play in reducing the amount of waste we’re sending to landfill and I’m pleased to see they’re doing their bit.”

Environment Agency Chief Executive Dr Paul Leinster said:

“The level of carbon saving – equivalent to the amount of CO2 generated by around one-and-a-half million UK homes each year – shows why it’s important for all of us to keep on recycling. Last year was the best year yet for the amount of packaging waste recycled. Everyone – the public, local authorities and businesses – should be proud of what has been achieved and spurred on to do even more.

“We’ll continue to help businesses meet their obligations and take tough action against those avoiding their responsibilities.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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