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Increase in plastics collection slows

Plastics recyclate

The amount of plastics collected by local authorities has increased more slowly than expected, according to industry research.

Recoup’s latest Household Plastics Collection Survey found 499,625 tonnes of plastics packaging was collected for recycling in 2015-16, a 1.4% increase on the previous year.

Of this, 340,160 tonnes was bottles, a 0.8% increase on the year before, and 159,465 tonnes was pots, tubs and trays, a 2.8% rise.

With 1,119,000 tonnes of rigid plastics packaging consumed by households in this period, a 45% recycling rate was achieved.

Technical manager and report author Steve Morgan said the association was disappointed by the figures: “Recoup had hoped to report that more than half a million tonnes of plastic packaging was collected for recycling from UK households in 2015, but collection level increases have slowed.”

Recoup said more market support was needed for plastics recyclers, who have continued to struggle this year.

Chief executive Stuart Foster said: “Green procurement initiatives need to ensure much wider use of recycled plastics in the manufacturing of new products. This will also involve a mandate for recycling systems to provide the ongoing quantity and quality of plastics needed to meet manufacturing sector requirements, within sensible and justifiable business arrangements.”

More than 70% of councils responded to Recoup’s survey, the data for which is based on information in the 2015 calendar or 2015-16 financial year.

  • Plastics recyclers Ecotech and PlasRecycle both entered administration in 2016 and failed to find buyers. EY, the administrator for both firms, has told MRW that equipment from PlasRecycle’s south London plant was sold at an online auction on 6 October and will be decommissioned and collected between now and the end of November.

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