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How WRAP is helping to boost recycling

WRAP is working with Defra on how to boost household recycling levels in England.

We have done some internal analysis to assess the size of the gap between current recycling levels and where we need to be to achieve the 50% target, along with how it might be filled.

This has enabled us to determine that around a further 1.7 million tonnes needs to be recycled by 2020 to reach the 50% recycling target, that’s assuming total waste arisings remain at existing levels.

We are currently looking into how this can be achieved - for instance we know collecting more food waste and more plastic packaging for recycling will be important. We have been working with a number of local authorities to increase the capture of food waste for recycling and are also providing advice on how to add plastic packaging (pots, tubs, trays) to collection schemes. 

We have been pro-actively engaging with local authorities in understanding what changes to services they are likely to make in the next few years and the challenges they face locally in driving up recycling rates further. We are considering the feedback in assessing what support we can best provide next year.

We also know about the barriers people encounter when trying to recycle. Some of these relate to people being confused about what they can and can’t recycle locally.

We are working on refreshing the Recycle Now campaign, which is used by the majority of local authorities. The refresh will include an upgrade to the Recycle Now postcode locator, and the development of new messages and materials in order to boost awareness and participation in recycling.

Linda Crichton, head of resource management at WRAP

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