The RECOUP UK Household Plastics Collection Survey has shown that the UK has ow reached two landmarks – that of recycling 2m tonnes of plastic bottles and half a million tonnes of pots, tubs and trays.
The survey reports that 464,433 tonnes of plastics packaging was collected from UK households in 2013 (this refers to the 2013 calendar and 2013/2014 financial year), an increase of 24,000 tonnes, or 5.5 percent, on the previous year. It further reported that as of the end of March 2013, 400 of the 406 collection authorities in the UK provided a kerbside recycling collection that included plastic bottles. Recycling of plastic bottles continues to plateau, however, with a modest increase of approximately 10,000 tonnes, or 3 percent, from the previous year.
The survey also showed that consumer communications around plastics recycling is becoming ever more important. In the 2013 survey, 12 percent of local authorities said they were planning a plastics recycling communication; the same question asked in the 2014 survey gave a 35 percent positive response.
For those who said they were not running a campaign, a further 47 percent said it was something they would like to do but were unable at this time. Collating nearly 200 responses from the two questions, that’s a total of 66 percent (127 local authorities) that are planning or would like to run a plastics recycling communications campaign.
Steve Morgan, RECOUP technical manager stated: “Consumer communications have very much risen to the fore of strategic thinking and it’s encouraging to see the plans and demand to run plastics recycling communications campaigns.”
Pots, Tubs & Trays
There has been a steady increase in collections levels for plastic pots, tubs and trays, with 14,000 more tonnes collected, an 11 percent rise on the previous year. With 271 local authorities offering a kerbside collection that includes pots, tubs and trays this means only another 34 need to collect them before it has implications for the On Pack Recycling Label (OPRL). Once 75 percent (305) of local authorities collect plastic pots, tubs and trays the message can change from “check local recycling” to “widely recycled”. If new schemes continue to be rolled out at the current rate, this could be achieved in early 2016.
You can download the survey in full here