RECOUP’s annual conference sees more delegates attend than ever before 

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Recoup’s annual conference reached record numbers as around 300 delegates attended this year’s event to discuss themes surrounding consumer responsibility, increased quality of collected material and innovative thinking. 

The charity’s chief executive Stuart Foster explained that it was not just number that attended the conference that made it a success, but the quality of the people from the plastics recycling supply chain.  

According to RECOUP, there was a mutual view throughout the event that increasing recycled content in manufacturing would be a key factor, as well as designing recyclability into product and packaging manufacturing.  

The organisation also believed that during the conference some speakers challenged the lack of progress and chose to visit old issues. 

They also thought it was apparent that there was more discussion previously between the sectors to address improvements for plastic recycling.  

Sessions took place throughout the day, with one being conducted by Graham Fox from Innocent Drinks on Designing for Recyclability. He explained that Innocent’s move from cartons to PET bottles increased its sales more than ever, and it has committed to use 30% rPET bottles from 2018. 

Other companies, including the Co-operative Group, also stated its dedication to recycled packaging and said that by 2020 80% of its product packaging will be easy to recycle. 

The final session combined the opinions of Greenpeace, Sky News, Keep Scotland Beautiful, INCPEN, Marks and Spencer and Icaro, to examine the consumer perceptions of plastics within the natural environment. 

Icaro shared results from a new survey that focused on attitudes to plastics in the ocean, and included questions to consumers on locations where they had witnessed plastic litter, the reason for this littering and feelings towards a deposit return system 

Greenpeace delegate, Elena Polisana explained that the tide was already turning, the effects were already in sight and the consumer was working with the issue. She also said that improving recycling and producer responsibility reform was still the main challenge for the future.  

RPC bpi Recycled product Mike Baxter commented on the overall conference, he said: “Today’s conference has provided the ideal platform for promoting the plastics recycling industry’s successes while also discussing current issues with many of the key stakeholders.”