Plastic recycling news from the world of waste in April
It is time for the next instalment of our news round-up blog series, bringing you the latest interesting news from the plastic waste and recycling industry.
With the Plastic Packaging Tax now in effect, the UK government has been urged to reconsider its policing tactics, as well as the agreement in accepting chemical recycling as a legitimate form of recycling in the tax.
UK pharmacy giant, Boots, has also pledged to stop selling wet wipes that contain plastic by the end of the year, whilst a team of researchers in Zurich have discovered a new process to successfully recover 90% of recycled plastic. Find out more about what’s been happening in the world of waste throughout April below…
After nearly four years since it was first announced, the UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax has now come into effect. However, a raft of concerns has since risen to the surface regarding the loopholes being made available — as well as how producers will be held accountable. The Government has been urged to strengthen its policing measures to ensure the tax is effective.
Although, the levy is a step in the right direction in helping combat the global plastic crisis, and it has gathered momentum in and amongst the industry, as we work towards truly closing the loop.
A group of MPs have urged the UK Government to reconsider its agreement in accepting chemical recycling as a legitimate form of recycling in the Plastic Packaging Tax.
Defra currently views this process as a form of incineration – as pyrolysis is used to break plastic waste down into fuel. However, plastic waste must be converted back into material intended for the production of virgin plastic material.
A team of researchers at ETH Zurich have successfully broken-down PET plastic into modular building blocks – recovering 90% of them to be full recycled.
In a bid to lead a circular economy — where virgin plastic can be recycled at the same quality — Athina Anastasaki, professor of Polymeric Materials at ETH Zurich, is attempting to break down the long chain polymers in plastic into building blocks – known as monomers. This is done by using a specific technique called reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerisation, otherwise known as RAFT.
UK pharmacy chain, Boots, has pledged to stop selling wet wipes that contain plastic fibres by the end of 2022. As one of the biggest stockists of wet wipes in the UK, and after selling more than 800 wipes alone in 2021, it aims to replace plastic-based products with plant-based biodegradable alternatives.