The decision by MEPs to increase recycling to 65% by 2006 has sent the UK packaging industry reeling.

One MEP has called for “general objectives for recycling to be fixed at a local level”. Incpen supports this view and hopes it will be taken into account in any future negotiations.

Incpen director Jane Bickerstaffe described a proposal for the development of an indicator to measure packaging’s environmental impact as “an impractical and almost certainly undeliverable objective, as well as an unnecessary one.

“While there is always room for improvement, the vast majority of packaging on the market is already designed to minimise its environmental impact because it helps keep manufacturers’ costs down as well as making good business sense.”

When ministers meet to discuss recycling issues this month, the UK is likely to fight for sensible European policy on packaging and for the deadline for reaching targets to be extended to 2008.