This week saw Lancaster City Council collecting plastic bottles from householders for the first time. Residents were given black boxes with red lids, and the council will collect plastic bottles from these boxes as a separate recyclable item. On average each household in Lancaster uses more than 350 plastic bottles a year and less than 8% of these currently get recycled. To help increase that percentage, the following will be collected for recycling: plastic milk bottles, mineral water bottles and detergent bottles. Other items such plastic tubs, yoghurt pots and other rigid food containers cannot be collected because they are made from a different type of polymer to that of plastic bottles. Cabinet member Jon Barry said: Plastic bottles have always been a problem and take up a large amount of room in bins. Ever since we introduced the new collection arrangements, people have asked us when we will start to recycle plastic, so Im delighted that we can now provide this valuable service. From an environmental point of view, the new challenge is to create local facilities where the bottles can be recycled and then reused.