Some of the UK’s major plastics recyclers have defended their industry following a British Plastics Federation (BPF) survey that said plastics manufacturers wanted more consistency of supply of recycled material.
As reported by SCM this week, 37 per cent of plastics processors said that consistency of supply was the main issue that prevented them from using more recycled material.
But plastics recyclers have said a lot of progress is being made, but manufacturers could also do more to support the industry.
Regain Polymers purchasing director Bernard Chase said: “The successful and sustained use of plastic recyclate in manufactured products is not a one sided matter, rather it is a partnership between plastics reprocessors and their manufacturing customers Plastic reprocessors routinely encounter exactly the same problems of inconsistency in both the supply ad quality of the plastic waste they receive and are expected to invest in the plant and equipment necessary to combat the realities of their feedstock streams.
“Manufacturers of plastic products need to do the same if they are truly committed to increasing the use of plastic recyclate in their products from the perspective of long term sustainability rather than merely short term cost down. How many manufacturers of plastic products, moulders or extruders, can claim to have invested in plant and equipment specifically designed to process recycled polymers? Small wonder they encounter production difficulties if they have not.”
Closed Loop Recycling chief executive Chris Dow said that brand, retailers and manufacturers are increasingly using recycled content.
He added: “Here at Closed Loop we’re proud of the work we and other recyclers are doing with companies such as M&S and the dairy industry to supply them with high quality UK-sourced recyclate that can be used in new food and drink packaging. Our industry is still relatively young but we have come a very short way in a short amount of time.
“Going forward, however, what we think would benefit these brands and companies hugely is for them to be exempt from the PRN obligation for the specific amount of recycled content they use in their packaging annually. This would act as a huge incentive for more companies to include recycled material in their packaging, increasing demand for recyclate which in turn would provide a boost to the UK recycling industry.”