WRAP has published a new technical guide to help local authorities increase plastic bottle recycling rates.
Because of the increase in demand for PET and HDPE recyclate, WRAP says local authorities have a significant opportunity to boost overall recycling rates by focusing on collections of plastic bottles.
WRAP’s head of collections, Linda Crichton, says the growth in plastic bottle recycling over the past 10 years has been remarkable.
“In 2000, only around 12,000 tonnes of plastic bottles were recycled in the UK – it’s now nearly 20 times that amount.
“We’re also seeing rapid growth in domestic infrastructure to reprocess plastic bottles, some of which are even producing recycled food grade materials. Around half of the plastic bottles collected for recycling are now reprocessed in the UK.”
New communications materials on the collection of plastic bottles have also been published to help local authorities in England and Scotland engage residents in any service changes.
A second technical guide and supporting communications materials on the collection of rigid household plastic packaging is due to be published by WRAP in the spring.
ECO Plastics managing director Jonathan Short said: “It is very encouraging that WRAP have taken the bull by the horns and addressed the critical issue of plastic bottle collections.
“As a re-processor, we would echo the issues expressed in the report and call on local authorities to consider the consequences of plastic bottle-only services drifting to mixed collections in the context of the UK’s sorting capacity.
“We also believe that communicating the message to householders that all plastic bottles can be recycled, regardless of polymers, is of paramount importance.”
The guide can be downloaded from: www.wrap.org.uk/plasticbottleguidance.