TRADE AND INDUSTRY minister Dr Kim Howells is urging UK businesses to be more environmentally friendly in their use of packaging.
Speaking at the annual conference of the Parliamentary Group for Sustainable Waste last week, Dr Howells underlined the need for UK companies to meet the requirements of the EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste. This would enable UK products to circulate freely within the Single Market.
“The rationale behind these regulations is that small changes to the design of packaging can have significant benefits for the environment. But packaging must be capable of selling the product,” says Dr Howells.
He continues: “It may be considered environmentally friendly to use the simplest possible packaging, but if the product contained in that packaging languishes on the bottom shelf… the strategy is a failure.”
The minister adds that other “environmental benefits” would also be gained from better packaging design and management waste. “Recycling is frequently environmentally beneficial and can often be economically beneficial. Businesses can not only increase their competitiveness, but also their image, through being seen as environmentally sound,” he says.