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Bags for shopping and composting keep contamination out of the organic mix

Oldham Council reports that its Dual-Use Compostable Food Liner Project, described as the first of its kind in the UK, will save it nearly £300,000 a year.

The scheme was launched after the council found that many residents were using plastic bags, instead of compostable food liners, for disposal of their organic waste. This meant the waste was then classed as ‘contaminated’ and sent to landfill rather than being recycled.

Residents in 12,463 homes were targeted and encouraged to buy dual-use compostable liners, manufactured by Prestonbased Global Packaging, from registered stockists in the borough. The bags are used once to carry home shopping and again within the home’s kitchen caddy for food waste.

The liners cost 6p, of which the resident pays 3p; the council provides £19,450 towards the scheme.

When the initiative finished last month, 96% of participating householders were using compostable liners and 4% plastic bags. This compared with only 19% using compostable liners at the start of the project and 81% using plastic bags.

Within the targeted area, it is estimated that more than 486,000 compostable liners will be used in each financial year.

The council is now looking to attract funding so the scheme can be rolled out across the borough, increasing the number of participating households and the number of liners used to one million within a financial year.

www.gtuk.co.uk  

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