PLASTICS RECYCLING UK
Over 500,000 t of plastic packaging collected from UK households in 2016 / Cash-strapped local authorities need help to spread recycling message
More work needs to be done to boost plastics recycling rates in the UK, and recycling awareness among consumers, despite new data showing that plastic packaging collected for recycling has broken through the half-million-tonne barrier.

The latest "UK Household Plastics Collection Survey", from plastics recycling consultancy Recoup (Peterborough / UK; www.recoup.org), found that 512,475 t of plastic packaging were collected for recycling in 2016. The waste collected consisted of 340,000 t of plastic bottles and nearly 170,000 t of plastic pots, tubs and trays.

However, the amount of plastic bottles collected from UK households rose by less than 1% in 2016, compared with 2015, and with the number of new kerbside collections being launched actually slowing down, Recoup said local authorities had to increase their efforts to boost this figure. The survey found 51% of local authorities facing budget cuts for providing waste and recycling collections or informing householders about waste and recycling, up from 13% in 2015.

Budget cuts were also hitting sorting facilities, which may prompt the introduction of a "producer fund" to support getting out the recycling message to more consumers. Recoup said there were more than 100 local authorities who would like to work in partnership to deliver a communications campaign match-funded by the national plastics recycling communications initiative Pledge 4 Plastics (www.pledge4plastics.co.uk), "but at present there remains no central or dedicated budget to develop new resources or deliver plastics recycling communications."
Ongoing debate about bottle deposit return scheme
As experts looked at recycling data from other countries, Recoup warned that comparing the UK’s plastic bottle collection rate with other countries was not comparing "like-for-like". Recoup notes that other EU countries have reported a "90%+ household drinks bottle or PET plastic bottle collection rate by using a deposit return scheme," but there are differing challenges for each country depending on kerbside collection infrastructure as well as geographical and demographical considerations. It further says where there are high collection rates for plastic drinks bottles, there is generally a lower collection rate for plastic packaging, with much lower or no recycling rates for non-drinks bottles and other plastic containers.

Last month the European trade association of food packaging manufacturers Pack2Go Europe (Brussels / Belgium; www.pack2go-europe.com) launched an initiative for food packaging collection and recycling to boost the round-up of recyclable products like cups, trays and other containers often used for on-the-go consumption (see Plasteurope.com of 04.10.17).

e-Service:
Recoup's “UK Household Plastics Collection Survey 2017” as a PDF file
19.10.2017 Plasteurope.com [238136-0]
Published on 19.10.2017

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Date of print: 18.04.2021 15:56:22   (Ref: 545275834)
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