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Coffey weighs in over Swindon plastics recycling row

Resources minister Therese Coffey has urged Swindon Borough Council to rethink its plan to stop collecting plastic for recycling.

She noted that Swindon’s recycling rate has dropped nearly 12 percentage points since 2010 to 38%, and said this was why she found “the news that Swindon Borough Council proposes to drop plastic collections for recycling concerning”.

She said it was ”surely a regressive step”.

Last month, Swindon said it would stop recycling mixed plastics and send it to energy from waste instead, a move condemned by Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin as “confused thinking”.

The plastic problem has also affected nearby Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, whose cabinet member for regulatory services and environment Hayley Eachus said the fall in the market for recycling mixed plastics made it unviable to provide mixed plastic bring banks to sell on the material for recycling.

Eachus said: “This is a national issue affecting local authorities around the country.

“It is important that the items we collect at banks are being recycled or, if this is not possible, then the most efficient and environmentally friendly method of disposal used.”

Basingstoke closed its plastic recycling banks in mid-October and is working with Hampshire County Council to seek markets for the material.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Its a brave move they are making but a responsible one. Its not viable to simply send our mixed plastics to the far east where there are no environmental standards and rejected plastics just get dumped or burnt in the open. The industry need government to support plastic recycling with legislation. A tax is all well and good not its not enough to create a viable UK closed loop recycling system.

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