Tag Archives: Recycle

Plastic Packaging Challenge for Industry

The British Plastics Federation has outlined an ambitious plan to make 100% of plastic packaging reused, recycled or recovered.

Plastic Packaging Challenge for Industry

Its intention forms part of a document – Plastics: A Vision for a Circular Economy – which sets out proposals to drive innovation in the sector.

Philip Law, director general of the BPF, said: “Our ambition is to agree upon industry-standard traffic light systems and best practice design tools that can be used by manufacturers to advise brands and retailers on the recyclability and sustainability of their products.

“As an industry, we will also continue to invest in innovation so that we can realise our vision to see 100% of plastic packaging reused, recycled or recovered.”

The BPF said that it wants all plastic packaging and single-use items re-used, recycled and/or recovered by 2030. Some leading brands and retailers have already committed to using only reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025, and the BPF is a signatory to WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact.

It added that it is consulting with members, brands and retailers and has already proposed extending and revising the current Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system. The BPF said that the current PRN system should be extended to include plastic items that are not packaging products but are products used in conjunction with food and drink consumed on-the-go, such as cutlery or straws.

UK fails to recycle almost 50% of its plastic bottles

UK fails to recycle almost 50% of its plastic bottles.

UK fails to recycle almost 50% of its plastic bottlesUK fails to recycle almost 50% of its plastic bottles each year the average UK household uses 480 plastic bottles , but only recycles 270 of them – meaning nearly half (44%) are not put in the recycling.

This means that nationally, of the over 35 million plastic bottles being used every day in the UK, nearly 16 million plastic bottles aren’t being put out for recycling. New data from Recycle Now reveals the number of plastic bottles evading recycling could reach 29 billion over the four years up to the end of 2020.

If a year’s worth of the UK’s unrecycled plastic bottles were placed end to end, they’d reach around the world 31 times, covering  just over 780,000 miles.

Alice Harlock, from Recycle Now said: “The number of plastic bottles not being recycled is staggering and will increase further if we don’t take action.  Householders are often unsure if items are recyclable especially from the bathroom, bedroom and living room. An easy way to tell is, if an item is plastic and bottle shaped its recyclable.”

Commonly used items people might not know are recyclable include: empty bleach; shampoo; conditioner; bathroom cleaners and hand soap dispenser bottles.

In a bid to encourage people into taking action to recycle more plastic bottles, Recycle Now is calling on the UK public to open their eyes to all potential recycling opportunities in the home.

Harlock added: “We need to challenge ourselves when it comes to what we could be recycling. Every plastic bottle counts. We’re asking people to think more about what they can recycle every time they go to put something in the waste bin. If you’re having a shower and using up the last of the shampoo – don’t just think replace, think Recycle. When you run out of your favourite moisturiser in the morning – don’t just think replace, think Recycle.  If you’re not sure whether you can recycle plastic bottles at home check out our Recycling Locator.”

How to recycle plastic:

Nearly all local authorities in the UK collect recycling from the home, and recycling plastic bottles has never been easier.  To ensure consumers recycle at home, Recycle Now recommends:

  • Making sure plastic bottles are empty
  • Rinsing the bottles
  • Squashing the bottles to save space in the recycling bin (then put the lids back on)
  • If you’re on the go; pop your plastic bottle in a bag and recycle it when you get home rather than throwing it in a waste bin


Keep your plastic lids 

Plastic bottles with plastic lids – water bottles, milk bottles, shampoo and bleach bottles can be squashed to save space in your recycling bin, and the lids can be put back on for recycling too.

What about bleach?

Some people assume bleach and kitchen cleaner bottles can’t be recycled because of their contents – but it’s easier than you think to safely recycle them. Ensure the bottle is empty and leave the lid on.

What’s the point of recycling plastics?

Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than required for producing new products from scratch – 75% less in fact, meaning the impact on the environment is lowered.

Coffee Chains pressured to recycle better

Coffee Chains have come under the spotlight with chef and anti-waste campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whttingstall claiming coffee chains aren’t doing enough to recycle.Coffee Chains

He claimed that the cups are “barely recyclable at all” and “can’t be recycled through any of the normal public waste collection services, who are consistently diverting them to be incinerated or sent to landfill”. He also claimed that Coffee Chains such as Starbucks and Costa were misleading consumers over the green credentials of their cups.

Fearnley-Whttingstall’s campaign, which will feature in the next episode of his series Hugh’s War on Waste, follows on from news that McDonald’s, James Cropper and Simply Cups have linked up to recycle paper cups.

It’s estimated that around 2.5 billion paper cups are used in the UK each year but most are not recycled among household waste and cup collection has proved to be problematic. In addition, the cups are polyethylene-coated; Simply Cups is currently the only company that recycles plastic-lined cups.

FPA executive director Martin Kersh said: “I think it highlights that paper cups are recyclable but not enough are being recycled. If something positive can come out of this campaign then it would be to give the process a push.

“Simply Cups have done a fantastic job and it needs more publicity. When cups are recycled you get a phenomenally good material. James Cropper have made a big investment – the numbers must make sense.

“However, on this issue there has been a lack of facilities and funding. Why can’t PRN money be used? Also, there is a lack of consistency from local authorities.”