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Pay-as-you-go' bin scheme 'could leave households £50 a year worse off

A new pay-as-you-throw recycling scheme being planned by councils will cost homeowners as much as £50 extra per year unless food packaging is overhauled, waste experts have warned.

The controversial pay-as-you-throw collection scheme, proposed by council chiefs, is designed to encourage people to recycle more by charging them for the weight of the general waste they put out.

But according to one of Britain's biggest waste collection companies the move could leave millions of families worse off unless food manufacturers are forced to improve the recyclability of packaging. 

Today Suez is calling for the Government to force food manufacturers to make all packaging sold in the UK at least 50 per cent recyclable by 2025.

Without the increase, which would give households the opportunity to recycle more, they could find their council bills rise by £50 a year under a pay-as-you throw system, it warned. 

A "pay-as-you-throw" system for household black bin rubbish should be phased in by 2030 as part of a "revolution" in boosting recycling and efficient use of materials, Suez said.

The call comes as a poll reveals that almost a quarter of people feel sandwich packaging or fast food containers are the main cause of litter, while almost a fifth (18 per cent) think crisp packets and sweet wrappers are most to blame. And one in seven (14 per cent) thought plastic bottles were the main problem, the YouGov poll found.

Suez said it wants producers to contribute more to the costs of collecting and recycling their products, such as coffee pods or pet-food pouches, and for them to operate refundable deposit systems for cans and plastic bottles.

The deposit scheme charging consumers a levy on their bottles or cans - which they can reclaim by returning them for recycling - should apply to on-the-go plastic drinks bottles less than 750 ml, and drinks cans, and the deposit should be set at 10p.

Suez chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: "We envisage a revolution, where the notion of 'waste' is consigned to the bin and, instead, we truly value the materials flowing around the economy.

"The advent of pay as your throw for black bag rubbish leaves a clear choice for households where they may see their council taxes rise if they throw away more that cannot be recycled. Or they may see a reduction in their bills because they will be recycling far more.

We believe the opportunity for households to save money is huge if the Government follows through with clear proposals for it to make it far easier to produce more recyclable goods and make manufacturers more responsible for producing more recyclable products."

"Taking care of the environment makes economic sense too and we estimate could add £9 billion to the UK economy - placing this issue at the heart of a modern industrial strategy.

Article Source: The Telegraph

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