The Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation (Timcon) has called for the UK government to channel more resources into promoting the reuse of packaging materials before recycling.
“Timcon believes that reuse should be encouraged over and above recycling – this is of central importance to move the UK towards a truly circular economy," said Stuart Hex. "If reuse is possible, recycling merely to meet targets is irrational. Keeping a product working and in circulation should be our priority, with recycling taking place only when a product has reached the end of its useful life.”
Timcon is continuing to lobby the government and devolved governments to consider this when it reviews future packaging waste
“We believe current UK recycling targets, that rise from 43 per cent to 48 per cent this year, are far too high, particularly when compared to the current EU target of 15 per cent,” said Hex. “Our industry has a fantastic track record in repairing and reusing its products. Only once they have been reused – often many times - do we recycle them into wood chips, animal bedding and other products, or used as biomass fuel.”
Timcon is encouraging businesses to make reuse a key part of their sustainability strategies.
“Pallets and other wooden packaging materials absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as trees grow," Hex added. "Using them for as long as possible and continuing to store that carbon makes perfect sense to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint further. We no longer believe that there is such thing as a ‘single-trip’ pallet.”