A LEADING industry group has today (14 May 2015) published plans to work in partnership with government and others to significantly boost recycling and tackle littering in Scotland in the next ten years.
The Packaging Recycling Group Scotland (PRGS), with over 30 leading food and drink companies and industry bodies, is proposing a commitment from its members to reduce waste, promote recycling and tackle litter.
By working together with the government and others, the group believes it can increase recycling rates in general and, specifically bottles and cans, from current rates of around 50 per cent to 80 per cent by 2025.
The announcement comes on the day Zero Waste Scotland publishes a report and is calling for evidence on options for a refundable deposit return system in Scotland, which is intended to contribute to the debate on a move towards a circular economy.
Jane Bickerstaffe, PRGS spokesperson, explains: “We do not support the introduction of a deposit return system in Scotland and recommend alternative proposals to promote recycling, reduce waste and tackle litter, which we believe will be more effective.”
“Our members, including major brands, engage with thousands of consumers daily and have an excellent track record over many years of leading recycling and litter prevention and reduction initiatives that work and engage the public.”
She continued: “Scotland has an opportunity to lead the way in increasing recycling and tackling litter by combining the unrivalled knowledge and expertise of our sector, and building on the success of other local and national government initiatives, such as kerbside recycling.
“Only then can we find the most effective solution to meeting, and exceeding, ambitious government targets.”
Independent research  commissioned by PRGS shows that seven out of ten Scots are concerned about littering and recycling.
Over 80 per cent claim to already recycle bottles, cans and jars.
Half of Scots were supportive of improved local authority collection schemes, favouring convenience and practicality over the extra burden other options could create.
“There are great examples of recycling in Scotland, including existing kerbside and on the go recycling schemes that are already working,” added Jane Bickerstaffe.
“We need to develop and improve existing initiatives, rather than creating new ones, such as a deposit return system, which will be more costly for consumers and business, less convenient, address only a small proportion of litter and likely to undermine existing systems.”
PRGS is a cross-industry group set up to work with the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland, local authorities and others to provide partnership support, offer informed expertise and examine new solutions for recycling, waste reduction and anti-littering programmes.
Its members are committed to raising awareness of recycling, sharing best practice and are supportive of the Zero Waste Taskforce’s proposed Recycling Charter.
The industry group will continue to work in partnership with others to further develop its proposals and bring forward the best solution for improving recycling, reducing waste and tackling litter.
Read the report here.
 ComRes survey for PRGS December 2013.
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