Hubbub over packaging regulations

The draft packaging regulations issued by the Department of the Environment (DoE) in July look set to usher in a new recovery and recycling era based on tradable reprocessor certificates. The proposals promise to create a feeding frenzy in the waste industry, but have run into a good deal of criticism. Businesses want the interim recycling and recovery targets for 1998 weakened, the deadlines for registration and submission of data put back, and exemptions for some types of packaging. Concern is also prevalent about the potential for cross-subsidies for the recovery of some types of materials - particularly plastics - by other sectors. Meanwhile, local authority and environmental bodies are worried about the degree of self-regulation allowed for businesses and the possible self-accreditation of reprocessors.

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