RECOUP has launched a household plastics collection survey that illustrates the need for investment in kerbside recycling collections, infrastructure and communications.
The survey, that was launched at the RECOUP Plastics Recycling conference recently, has reported that the collection of half a million tonnes of plastic from UK homes has been achieved.
Figures show that 512,475 tonnes collected for recycling in 2016 included over 340,000 tonnes of plastic bottles and almost 170,000 tonnes of plastic pots, tubs and trays.
However, the increase in collection of plastic bottles in the UK household shows an increase of less than 1% from last year.
New schemes for collection are also slowing down, with only seven new kerbside programmes in 2016 reporting that they introduced the collection of plastic pots, tubs and trays.
RECOUP’s survey revealed a UK collection rate in 2016 for all types of plastic bottles at 58%, with a 32% rate for plastic pots, rubs and trays.
The survey also confirmed that from nearly 160 responses, 51% of local authorities in the UK received budget cuts for providing waste and recycling collection or delivery of communications to houses about waste and recycling- the percentage of this last year was 13%.
There is a high demand to engage with householders by running plastic recycling campaigns, but this is one of the primary areas suffering from budget restrictions.
Contamination is having serious effects on both treatment and sale of recovered materials. Therefore, local authorities stated that they are focusing communications on two significant factors- increasing collection rates and decreasing contamination.
RECOUP technical manager Steve Morgan said: “Making kerbside systems as good as they can be will inevitably lead to higher household plastic collection levels. Consumer communication particularly needs financial backing. The question is, over the next two to three years, is there the funding and real desire to carry this forward?“.