Products of change. News

Kerbside plastic collections up 2%

Tue 23 Mar 2021 | 06:46 am GMT
Michelle Urquhart | Products of Change Writer

Kerbside recycling is up 2% in 2020

Local authorities collected 560,000 tonnes of plastic for recycling in 2020, an overall increase of 2% on 2019. The figures have been published in the annual 2020 RECOUP UK Household Plastics Collection Survey. For the first time, all 382 UK Local Authorities collected plastic bottles for recycling at the kerbside. Additionally, the number which collect plastic pots, tubs and trays has increased to 85%. However, the number collecting films and flexibles has dropped to 14%. While some would view these slight increases as a demonstration of a positive trend in the collection of plastic materials, actual recycling rates remain stagnant, in part due to the failure in capturing and recycling the significant quantities of plastic film and flexibles from households. Steve Morgan, policy and infrastructure manager said in the report: “On a materials recycling level, there is a need to incentivise and develop material supply chains and the associated waste and recycling infrastructure to underpin circular economy models, particularly around the benefits, use and circularity of plastics.” There are a number of reforms in the pipeline which could be a game changer in managing used plastic packaging effectively, including the Plastic Packaging Tax. The key aim of this tax is stated by UK Government to: 'Provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging, which will create greater demand for this material. In turn this will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.’ The key principle of the Plastic Packaging Tax is a £200 per tonne tax rate for plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content. Products of Change is pleased to announce that Recoup is joining the group to help members navigate the future with legislative changes. Anne Hitch, citizen and stakeholder engagement manager said: “Recoup are delighted to be given the opportunity to educate on the plastics recycling message through Products of Change. We are excited about being able to share knowledge as we all strive to ensure our planets resources are used wisely.” Image: O'Dea at Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
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