New EU-funded recycling project launches in Southend-on Sea



Southend-on-Sea is one of four European cities taking part in an EU-funded proof-of-concept programme aimed at increasing recycling rates across Europe.

Yorkshire-based waste management and recycling company MYGroup has supported Southend-on-Sea City Council in demonstrating a proof-of-concept to increase plastic recycling rates among businesses and organisations as part of the EU-sponsored programme PlastiCity.

PlastiCity is funded by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund to develop “replicable strategies and solutions” for increasing recycling rates in urban areas of four European countries: Southend-on-Sea in the UK, Ghent in Belgium, the Douai region in France and The Hague in the Netherlands.

The project has a particular focus on increasing recycling rates of what it calls “lost plastics”, which are materials eligible for recycling but not yet collected or processed by mainstream waste management operations and subsequently sent to landfill.

We hope these efforts will inspire the other European city regions involved in the PlastiCity project.

MYGroup says it has delivered 500 specially designed recycling boxes for the Council to distribute to businesses and organisations across the city region, including schools, charities and libraries, for the collection of the hard-to-recycle plastic waste, such as soft plastic used for wrapping and bags.

The plastic waste is being collected and processed by MYGroup at the company’s facilities in Hull, East Yorkshire, where, MYGroup says, it will be recycled, end-to-end, back into supply chains. The 500 boxes provided equate to approximately three tons of plastic waste when full, with 39 collected so far, the organisation says.

The Council in Southend-on-Sea, which was granted city status in March last year, was successful in securing funding for the PlastiCity programme to deliver strategies to dispose of plastic waste via the circular economy. The four cities taking part in the programme are aiming to increase plastic recycling rates in their region from 20% to 50% by 2030.

Steve Carrie, Director, MYGroup, commented: “We’re proud to be working hand-in-hand with a local authority to bolster recycling capacity and expertise within an urban municipality – processing and transforming plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfill or incineration.

“We hope these efforts will inspire the other European city regions involved in the PlastiCity project and beyond to invest in and grow their waste management capabilities.”

PlastiCity is part of a wider EU inter-region cooperation programme, “Interreg 2 Seas”, which finances projects focused on combatting climate change, reducing carbon and promoting sustainability in coastal countries along the southern North Sea and English Channel.

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