Kerbside consistency won’t work without consistent data and accurate plastics communications warns RECOUP

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Plastic charity RECOUP has called for a consistent approach to collecting recycling data and accuracy in plastics recycling communications.

Otherwise, consistent collections at the kerbside will not work to meet recycling targets, it has warned.

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Since July 2021, RECOUP has been working with 13 Kent councils in a live lab project to understand plastics recycling communications and behaviours.

Part-funded by Innovate UK, and involving partners Veolia, Ecosurety, British Plastics Federation, Plastics Europe and PPS Recovery Systems, with support from Ocado, Sainsbury’s and OPRL, the research has allowed a deep dive into citizen perspectives and analysis of plastics capture, sorting and data analysis.

RECOUP head of citizen and stakeholder engagement Anne Hitch said: “This project has provided some fascinating insights into the relationship between messaging and behaviours alongside other influences.   

“The good news is people want to do the right thing and if we can provide consistent and accurate messaging across all platforms, we believe we can really start to see sustained behaviour change.

“However, communications messaging must be based on sound data therefore, it is critical that across the whole of the UK we are measuring and classifying target and non-target materials in a unified way.”

To aid communications the project has produced a Best Practice Guide for UK Plastics Recycling Communications which will be launched at a free webinar on Wednesday 27 July at 10.00 am. To reserve your place please register HERE.