ABSTRACT

Of all the materials contained in household waste, discarded packaging is seen by many people as representing both the worst aspects of our consumption and disposal culture and the greatest opportunity for recycling. Waste packaging accounts for approximately 30 per cent by weight and by volume of all household waste, as may be seen from Table 11.1.50 Indeed, packaging accounts for the majority of the dry recyclable elements of household waste in terms of cardboard, glass, plastics and metals, the other major non׳packaging element being newspapers and magazines. Packaging is thus a significant element of household waste, but has received a level of criticism which is perhaps disproportionate to the amount of packaging which is actually discarded.