ECO Plastics managing director Jonathan Short has called for a “focus on quality” after the company found that reductions in plastic quality could cost local authorities £10m a year.
According to the company, a typical bale of collected plastics has fallen from 95% plastic bottles in 2008 to 80% or lower, which could equate to a reduction of £40 for every tonne of plastic collected.
Short said: “London mayor Boris Johnson’s ‘Recycle for London’ campaign estimates that the capital saved £30m through recycling last year, with a target of doubling those savings this year. This will not happen - for London or any other authority - unless recycling collections start to focus on quality.
“For plastics recycling, the solution is very simple. We can all make a contribution by ensuring that each and every plastic bottle we use is returned into the system. The historic drive for quantity has to stop - we must first maximise the best quality, most valuable resource available to us.
“It’s time to get back to basics and ensure that all plastic bottles in the UK are saved from landfill.”
The company operates Europe’s “most technically advanced” plastic recycling facility in Hemswell, Lioncolnshire, which can process almost all mixed plastic and bottles at a rate of 300,000 an hour.