A new technical guide that aims to help local authorities increase quantity and quality of plastic bottle recycling has been launched by WRAP.
The guide looks at how best to collect PET and HDPE bottles, sorting systems, communications and outlines the point of view of plastics recyclers. It also notes that reprocessors of plastics are advising local authorities to consider the consequences of drifting towards mixed plastics collections and says they should consider the available UK sorting capacity to deal with mixed plastic packaging and bottles,
WRAP head of collections Linda Crichton said: “Back in 2000, only around 12,000 tonnes of plastic bottles were recycled in the UK. It’s now nearly 20 times that amount. We’re also seeing rapid growth in domestic infrastructure to reprocess plastic bottles, some of which are even producing recycled food grade materials. Around half of the plastic bottles collected for recycling are not processed in the UK.”
She added that maximising the capture of plastic bottles at the kerbside could be a way for local authorities to reach towards the targets to recycle 50 per cent of household waste in England and 60 per cent in Scotland by 2020.
Plastics recycler ECO Plastics welcomed the publication of the report. Managing director Jonathan Short said: “It is very encouraging that WRAP has taken the bull by the horns and addressed the critical issue of plastic bottle collections.
“As a reprocessor, we would like to echo the issues expressed in the report and call on local authorities to consider the consequences of plastic bottle only services drifting to mixed collections in the context of the UK’s sorting capacity.
“We also believe that communicating the message to householders that all plastic bottles can be recycled, regardless of polymers, is of paramount importance.”
WRAP is due to publish a technical guide on the collection of rigid household plastic packaging later in the spring.
The plastic bottle guidance can be downloaded at www.wrap.org.uk/plasticbottleguidance
Don’t forget to book your place at the Achieving High Quality and High Value Recycling conference on 21 March at Warwick Racecourse. Book now for the early bird rate of only £259+VAT – available only until 31 January 2012. Find out more at www.scrap-ex.com/conferences