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Volume of plastic bottles collected doubles in two years

Almost half of all UK households have a kerbside collection for plastic bottles, with 86% of councils offering local facilities or collections, according to new research.

The UK Plastic Bottle Recycling Survey 2006 produced by Recoup takes data submitted by all 471 UK local authorities, to provide a detailed source of information on UK household plastic bottle collection performance.

According to the findings 11.5 million households are now served by kerbside collection services for plastic bottles and the report estimates that about 85,000 tonnes of plastic bottles are now collected each year — 17% of the plastic bottles in the household waste stream.

The findings revealed that the number of plastic bottle collection schemes had increased by 16% since the end of 2004, and 91 councils said collecting plastic bottles for recycling cost little or no extra than other disposal routes.

Based on the current findings, it forecasts 90,000 tonnes a year of plastic bottles will be collected by 2007 — the majority through kerbside collection.

Waste and Resources Action Programme material sector manager for plastics Paul Davidson said: “The accelerated rise in plastic bottle recycling is extremely encouraging, particularly since plastic is not a priority waste stream in the context of the weight-based targets faced by local authorities. Improved understanding of the benefits of plastic collections and increased confidence in the end markets, coupled with strong public demand, are key factors here.”

The full survey can be viewed online at www.recoup.org

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