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Israel plans packaging recycling revolution

By Rory Harrington , 22-Feb-2010
Last updated the 22-Feb-2010 at 13:25 GMT

Israel has proposed a “revolution” in the recycling of packaging that would impose personal responsibility on all manufacturers to collect and reprocess the waste packing from their products.

The country’s Environmental Protection Ministry distributed a memorandum on a draft Packaging Law to government ministries recently as it seeks to slash the environmental impact of packaging waste.

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said the initiative would mean Israel could “finally join the ranks of advanced countries in this field”.

The legislation would cover all products including food and cleaning materials. It has been proposed as the weight of packaging waste in Israel is estimated at a million tons a year – around 15 per cent of the total weight of municipal solid waste in the country.

"The Packaging Law constitutes a revolution in the treatment of household waste. Imposing responsibility for the recycling of waste on all manufacturers and importers will facilitate a reduction in the quantity of waste which is land-filled and the development of a local market for recycling,” said Erdan.

Manufacturer responsibility

Under the bill, manufacturers and importers would be required to recycle 60 per cent of the total weight of single-use packaging of the products they sell or import each year by 2014. Producers will have to comply with annual recycling targets according to type of material: glass, water and cardboard – 60 per cent, metal – 50 per cent and plastic - 22.5 per cent.

Producers and importers would be required to finance local council initiatives to introduce “advanced models of treating and separating waste at source”.

Manufacturers will also have to mark all packaging with information on its designation for recycling, recovery or reuse, type of raw material, weight, hazardous waste content and identity of the corporation from which the producer received the services.

The Ministry said the land-filling of packaging waste will be prohibited as of January 2020 and was part of its zero waste strategy.