Plastic recycling news from the world of waste in January
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.
As the date for the Plastic Packaging Tax looms closer, companies have been beginning to launch trial-initiatives to perfect the recycled material in their packaging, while UK retailer, Wilko, has been looking to tackle the waste from single-use facemasks. Here’s the latest industry insight from January…
Recycling minister, Jo Churchill, has outlined the significant steps the UK government has taken to increase plastic recycling. With the Plastic Packaging Tax coming into effect in April this year, companies will see a charge of £200 per tonne on plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled content. However, measures such as the deposit return schemes and an increase in recycling collections will help to ensure there is a consistent supply of high-quality recyclable material available in the UK.
PepsiCo has announced its plans to launch a new range for Walkers crisps – trialling packs that will be easier to recycle. Although further details of the launch are yet to be announced, it is likely that the updated packaging will be made up of previously used plastic such as crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, and carrier bags.
Using innovative design technology to create a simpler bag structure, it will contain larger proportions of recyclable plastics, such as polypropylene. PepsiCo is currently working with ORPL to modify the labelling to encourage consumers to recycle the used packaging.
Coming into effect from 1 April 2022, the Plastic Packaging Tax will apply to companies that have their plastic packaging manufactured or imported into the UK where the plastic used in manufacture is less than 30% recycled. The tax is currently set to £200 per metric tonne.
HMRC has recently given a list of examples of packaging designed for use at any stage within the supply chain. This includes items designed for single use such as bottles, film to protect produce – such as raw meat – and silage film. However, items that are exempt from the tax include packaging that is designed to be reused such as lunchboxes, plastic cutlery, and lightbulbs.
Home and garden retailer, Wilko, launched an in-store mask recycling scheme which has now been extended until 2 April 2022. Available in 149 stores nationwide, the company has estimated that 400,000 face masks could be recycled through the scheme – which would equate to 966kg of single-use plastic.
Once collected, the masks will be broken down into raw fibres, that will then be used to make new products – such as safety materials for businesses, building materials, and outdoor furniture.