Increased concern for the protection of the environment has led to demands that materials should be conserved reducing dependence on finite natural resources and this in turn has led to pressure to increase recycling, particularly of packaging materials.
The disposal of wase is regarded as a growing environmental problem in the UK and the EC generally. The major proportion of waste generated in Europe is agricultural and industrial. the remaining portion is municipal solid waste of which packaging materials constitute about one third.
Packaging material is a highly visible fraction of waste, immediately apparent to the public. Because its volume (rather than weight) is significant and because litter is frequently of packaging origin, it attracts a disproportionate amount of public and media attention.