‘Free-wheeling chaos’: How should plastic waste management be reformed?

Four experts considered how producers of plastic waste should be made to pay for its collection and treatment at a major recycling and waste management conference this week. Gareth Simkins reports

A debate on the future of waste regulation, held at the RWM conference at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre on Tuesday, heard impassioned views on requiring producers of plastic waste to pay for its management.

The event was billed as a discussion of the merits of a tax on plastics, versus those of introducing an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme. But David Newman, president of the World Biogas Association and managing director of the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association, said both a “hefty tax” on plastic packaging and EPR are needed to cut plastic consumption sufficiently. Further consultation on both is expected next year.

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