Plastics Recycling And Supply Chain Must “Seize The Day”

As a widening range of initiatives to tackle the plastics challenge are unveiled, there is an increasing risk that meaningful action will become harder than ever to implement, RECOUP has warned.

RECOUP, the plastics recycling charity and member organisation has witnessed a surge in membership enquiries, it says, as political and public attention upon plastic pollution grows.

Earlier this year, a major supermarket unveiled plans to sell all its water in 50% recycled plastic packaging while a fast food chain has announced in the last week that plastic straws will be banned in outlets across the UK and Ireland.

Meanwhile the ban on plastic exports to China continues to spark debate about where British plastics end up and the net effect upon marine pollution.

“The danger now is that meaningful action to capitalise on all of this is delayed while the wider debate heightens.”

Stuart Foster, RECOUP CEO, said: “With greater focus than ever before on the leakage of used packaging into the natural environment, many more organisations are recognising that it is time to change. And 2018 has seen another rise in RECOUP membership as well as engagement with its initiatives such as Recyclability by Design and the new Black Plastic Packaging Recycling Forum.

“Indeed, there has been a fundamental shift in attitude in the last 12 months towards improved long-term use of resources and the development of circular economy models.

“The danger now is that meaningful action to capitalise on all of this is delayed while the wider debate heightens.”

Today’s priority is to ensure that all end-of-life plastic is controlled, reusing and recycling this valuable resource. The plastic recycling and supply chain now needs to work beyond its legal obligations to address environmental issues and achieve improved resource use.

Stuart added: “Industry must seize the opportunity while the media spotlight remains squarely on plastics.  Collaboration between business, industry, local government as well as consumer education is now vital to improve understanding of the plastics recycling sector challenges and facilitate a proactive approach.

“To achieve a truly circular economy, every link in the chain needs to be committed to working in partnership to implement real change and develop end markets for recycled materials.”

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