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Plastic packaging recycling maintains growth

The latest annual figures on plastics packaging collected from UK households indicate a 5.5% rise on the previous year.

The data for 2013 is included in RECOUP’s 20th annual survey which found that 464,433 tonnes of plastics packaging was collected, an increase of 24,000 tonnes on 2012.

In other findings, 400 of the 406 collection authorities in the UK were providing, by the end of March 2013, a kerbside recycling collection that included plastic bottles. Even so, recycling of plastic bottles had a modest increase of approximately 10,000 tonnes, or 3%, increase from the previous year.

The report indicated also that there has been a steady increase in collections levels for mixed rigid plastic (pots, tubs and trays), with 14,000 more tonnes collected, an 11% rise on the previous year.

Zero Waste Week plastics label

RECOUP says that with 271 authorities offering a kerbside collection that includes mixed rigids, an additional 34 would have an impact on the On Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme (left) which aims to deliver a simple and consistent recycling message on packaging to help consumers recycle more.

Once 75% (305) authorities collect such materials, the message can change from “check local recycling” to “widely recycled”. RECOUP says that if new schemes roll out at the current rate, “widely recycled” could be seen on mixed rigids in early 2016.

In the 2013 survey, 12% of local authorities said they were planning to launch a publicity campaign to boost plastics recycling.

A year later, that had risen to 35%, although some commentators have suggested that spending cuts may hit councils’ ability to issue publicity.

recoup survey 2014 plastic tonnes

This table and the chart above are from the Recoup report

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