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Horizon thinking on UK plastics recycling

What does the future of plastics recycling look like in the UK, and what impact will Brexit and the new Chinese recycling rules have on our industry?

On 23 November, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) seminar Recycling the Unrecyclable will provide recyclers with a forum to explore the threats and opportunities that the sector can expect to encounter as we move towards 2018 and beyond.

A major part of the event will be a panel debate examining the impact on businesses here in the UK of the new Chinese rules. The debate will feature industry experts Deborah Sacks from the Department for International Trade, WRAP sector specialist Bernard Chase and Recoup chief executive Stuart Foster.

The debate will form a central plank of the afternoon session at this one-day event. It provides recyclers with an opportunity to debate and exchange ideas on the implications of the new law as UK recyclers gather in London for the conference.

Chase said: “The plastics recycling sector is currently faced with many challenges, but also greater opportunities, as reflected in the breadth of this topical seminar.

”A combination of increasing concern over plastics in the marine environment coupled with China’s proposed ban on certain grades of plastic packaging waste offers UK plastics recyclers a unique and lasting opportunity to reoccupy the centre ground of innovative, high-quality, high-value recycling of end-of-life plastics.

“Those wishing to benefit from the commercial opportunity such a paradigm shift represents are urged to attend.”

The seminar will also feature presentations on innovative techniques that will push the boundaries of plastics recycling.

Cadel Deinking, which spun out of the University of Alicante three years ago, will showcase its exciting plastic recycling process that can remove printed ink from plastic surfaces.

Another important project in plastics recycling will be presented by industry giant Total as it discusses the potential of its plastics road project, which aims to make a completely circular, easily repaired plastics road out of recycled materials.

The afternoon session at the conference will finish by providing delegates with examples of best practice in local government presented by Windsor and Maidenhead Council and the best in class from Scandinavia delivered by Aage Verstegaard Larsen.

  • Recycling the Unrecyclable will take place on 23 November at the Wesley Hotel near London Euston station. The full agenda, including speaker biographies, can be found on the BPF website at

Paul Baxter, senior commercial events and project executive, BPF

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