The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has started several major projects to understand how best to implement collection of mixed plastics as part of its drive to increase recycling rates.
Recent research by WRAP shows that recycling of domestic mixed plastics in the UK is environmentally and economically viable. As a result of the research, WRAP will start projects across the supply chain to find the most effective way to collect mixed plastics.
In one initiative, WRAP aims to demonstrate the detailed business case for an integrated mixed plastic waste management solution in the UK. Supporting large scale trials to recycle mixed plastics from both households and retail take back schemes, WRAP hopes the project will show how these mixed plastics can be sorted and reprocessed back into new packaging and other high quality plastic materials.
The trials will be undertaken by a consortium led by polymer consulting company Nextek and involve Sainsburys, Valpak, Bowman Process Technology, Closed Loop Recycling, Linpac and packaging company CeDo.
The trials will include an assessment of how materials recycling facilities can include mixed plastics and the best outcome for the film component in mixed plastic.
In addition, WRAP has commissioned Bristol-based consultancies Eunomia and Resource Futures to study the most efficient way to collect plastic and has already consulted local authorities currently collecting mixed plastics. WRAP will be engaging with all interested local authorities as this work develops.
WRAP head of manufacturing Peter Maddox said: We are keen to ensure the economic viability of this new part of the reprocessing sector and pleased by the commitment shown from all involved. Working in such a joined up manner will enable a mixed plastics recycling infrastructure to be developed more quickly.