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Waste & Recycling October 11, 2017 03:30:17 PM

Plastics Collected For Recycling Exceeded Half A Million Tonnes

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The household plastics packaging collection reported modest increase during the year. A total of 512,475 tonnes were collected for recycling during the year.
Plastics Collected For Recycling Exceeded Half A Million Tonnes

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): RECOUP (RECycling of Used Plastics Ltd)-a non-profit organization that strives to promote plastics recycling, has published the results of the UK Household Plastics Collection Survey 2017. The survey suggests modest improvement to plastics collected for recycling. Over half-a-million tonnes of plastics were collected in the UK in 2016. Further, the report emphasizes on the need to invest in recycling collection infrastructure and communications.

The survey states that 2.260 million tonnes of plastics packaging were placed on the market during the entire year 2016. Out of this, nearly 1.12 tonnes of rigid plastics packaging were consumed by UK households during the year. Plastic bottles accounted for 594,000 tonnes, whereas plastic pots, tubs and trays accounted for 525,000 tonnes.

The household plastics packaging collection reported modest increase during the year. A total of 512,475 tonnes were collected for recycling during the year. The overall collection has recorded modest jump of 2.6% when compared with 2015. The collection of plastic bottles increased marginally by 0.9% to 343,330 tonnes. Meantime, the collection of plastic pots, tubs and trays recorded 6.1% year-on-year increase during the year. Bottles made up 67% of household plastic packaging collections, whereas pots, tubs and trays accounted for the balance 33%.

A total of 1.015 million tonnes of plastic packaging was collected for recycling in 2016, which equates to a recycling rate of 45%. Out of this rigid plastic packaging collected for recycling totaled 512,475 tonnes, accounting for just over 50% of the total recycled volume. According to RECOUP survey, UK exported 63% of collected plastic packaging, whereas the remaining 37% was recycled domestically. Notably, the balance 1.245 million tonnes of plastics packaging placed on market were not recycled and have ended up in landfills or other destinations.

According to the survey, 386 out of the 391 local authorities in the UK offered kerbside recycling collection service that includes plastic bottles. Also, 298 local authorities include plastic pots, tubs and trays in their collection service. Only 75 collect plastic films and 34 collect non-packaging plastic as part of their kerbside collection service. The survey also points out that new collection schemes have slowed down in 2016.

The RECOUP Survey found that 51% local authorities were faced with budget cuts in waste and recycling services. This is significantly higher as compared with 13% reported in 2015. It recommends the need of recycling communication campaigns to provide recycling education so as to increase collection rates and reduce contamination levels.

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