UK urged to up its plastic recycling efforts

Filed under: Recycling — Posted by: Daniel on July 17, 2013

The level of plastic recycling in the UK must grow if the country is to meet targets, said speakers at this year’s annual International Conference on Recycling of Plastics, which was held in Bad Neuenahr in June.

It is estimated that 2.5 million tons of plastic enters the UK in the form of packaging alone and only 25% of this plastic was recycled last year. It has been estimated, by WRAP – a governmental waste consultancy agency – that this will rise to 42% by 2017. To achieve this goal, however, the country will need to double its efforts when it comes to plastics recycling.

On a more positive note, it was also revealed that 40% of plastic bottles are already being recycled and this is largely due to the improvement in collection methods for these particular products, which have been implemented in the past decade.

Roger Baynham, from the British Plastics Federation, noted that the recycling rates for plastic films and rigid items were still low, at around 5%, and he blamed this on the poor implementation of household recycling collections, which he said would need to improve significantly.

Whether it be sheet plastic, polymer, or cut-to-size acrylic, plastic plays a key role in most UK lives and is used to form everything from aircraft parts to MP3 players, but it appears that the message still needs to be emphasised that most plastic items can be recycled and given a new life when their original purpose comes to an end.

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