Consultation on changes to the plastic packaging recycling business targets for 2016 & 2017 and new plastic and glass targets for 2018-20

Closed 23 Dec 2015

Opened 26 Nov 2015

Results updated 21 Mar 2016

Please see the final, updated Impact Assessment and the full summary of responses for this consultation



Packaging Regulations :consultation on changes to the plastic packaging recycling business targets for 2016-17 and new targets for plastic and glass for 2018-20.

We want to know what you think about our plans to amend business targets under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations. The regulations require producers of packaging to ensure that a proportion of the packaging they handle is recovered and recycled. The proposed changes would amend plastic packaging recycling targets for 2016 to 2017.  It would also set new targets for plastic and glass packaging for 2018 to 2020.  These changes are being considered following publication of the Plastic Flow report ( 

All responses should be sent by email to, or by post to Producer Responsibility, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Area 2B Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.

Please make sure that any email responses are clearly marked ‘Packaging Targets Consultation Responses’.

Why your views matter

The existing business targets for 2013-17 were consulted on in 2011 and final targets announced at Budget in March 2012. The targets were set using the best evidence available from business at the time.  Glass targets were revised in 2014 following the publication of the GlassFlow report, which investigated the data used to calculate targets.   

Defra commissioned a similar report, PlasticFlow, which reported in 2014 and provided an updated picture of the plastic market in terms of material placed on the market. The report indicated that the amount of plastic packaging placed on the market was significantly lower than the estimates made in 2011/12. Therefore, the targets in the Regulations are based on the expectation of much higher waste arising. This means that it is possible to reduce the business targets on obligated producers and still maintain a similar recycling rate.

In addition, current domestic targets for all materials expire in 2017.  The Packaging Directive requires member states to deliver a specified recycling rate by 2008 and maintain that rate each year thereafter.  Therefore, without targets beyond 2017 we would be in breach of our Packaging Directive requirements.

This consultation proposes options for revised targets for plastic for 2016-17 and for new targets for glass and plastic for 2018-20.


  • Environmental campaigners
  • Employment Agencies
  • Food Industry
  • Environmental professional services
  • Local Authorities
  • Waste Producers and Handlers
  • Business/Private Sector
  • SME businesses
  • Public Bodies
  • Consultants


  • Waste and recycling