Plastic recycling news from the world of waste in December
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.
From an increase in plastic packaging recycle rates, to the Scottish government announcing a new deposit scheme for PET plastic bottles, here’s the latest industry insight from December…
The UK Plastics Pact’s third annual report – published by global NGO WRAP - has shown ‘good collective progress’ year-on-year since its launch in 2018. The report has shown a 10% reduction in plastic packaging on supermarket shelves, with troublesome and superfluous plastic items falling by 46% since 2018.
It goes on to say that there’s been a 50% increase in plastics reprocessing in the UK, and this improvement is a trend we hope to see continue even further in 2022!
According to a survey from plastics recycling charity RECOUP, it has been estimated that 584,000 tonnes of household plastic packaging waste were collected for recycling in 2021 – a 4% increase compared to 2019. The study has also estimated that 75% of PET drinks bottles were also collected for recycling in 2021.
The UK’s 2025 plastic packaging recycling target is currently set at 70%, meaning the current figure of material being recycled would need to increase by around 400,000 tonnes.
The Scottish Government has announced that a deposit return scheme (DRS) will go live in August 2023 – “helping to recycle billions of bottles and cans every year”. The phased approach will see collection processes beginning in November 2022.
When purchasing a drink that comes in a single-use container made using PET plastic, steel, aluminium, and glass, a 20p deposit is to be paid. This money will then be refunded back to the consumer once the empty container has been returned to a collection point.
The Government is currently working with retailers on a voluntary basis to enable people to start returning their empty bottles and cans for recycling from November 2022.
The BBC recently shared an article about soft plastics. It detailed how in Wales, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire are two local authorities offering kerbside collection of some soft plastics, whereas others offer disposal points at household waste centres – and some councils will also handle them if they’re put in the recycling bin by accident.
It further explains how many people are confused about what they can and can’t recycle, and how a standardisation of packaging – and a reducing in multi-material products – would go some way in helping to remedy this.