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Recyclable packaging shortfall criticised

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Retailers are still not putting enough of households’ weekly shopping into recyclable packaging, a report has claimed.

Research by the Local Government Association said that 38% of the packaging from an average weekly household list cannot be recycled - just a 2% improvement on last year’s figure.

The survey commissioned from the British Market Research Bureau found that local retailers and market traders were more eco-friendly than the larger supermarkets.

It found Lidl and Marks & Spencer had the highest proportion of non-recyclable packaging by weight - 38%, while Asda had the lowest 31%.

Reducing packaging 'vital'

Paul Bettison (Con), the LGA’s board member for the environment, said that the survey showed there was still a long way to go.“Reducing packaging is vital if we are to avoid paying more landfill tax and EU fines, which could lead to cuts in frontline services and increases in council tax,” he said.

People in England recycle around one-third of their rubbish, but increasing landfill costs are giving local authorities an extra incentive to drive up the rate.

Councils currently have to pay£32 in tax for every tonne of rubbish sent to landfill, but the figure will rise to£48 a tonne by 2010.

In addition, from 2010 councils face EU fines of£150 for every tonne that is dumped, which could cost an estimated£200m by 2013.

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