Recoup claims that a boost in domestic recycling collections is the principal contributor to the UK hitting plastics packaging recycling targets.
According to its 2012 UK Household Plastics Collection Survey it now accounts for almost 70% of the 610,000 tonnes of plastics packaging recycled. The authors also highlight a recycling rate of 52% for plastic bottles – the first time the collection rate has passed the 50% barrier.
Recoup's technical manager, Steve Morgan, said: “The data clearly shows plastics collection levels have come a long way since the first survey recorded the collection of 425 tonnes of plastic bottles.
“However, it is clear significant changes will be necessary if the UK is serious about achieving the new and ambitious five-year recycling targets for plastics packaging from 2013 to 2017. These include a 5% yearly growth in plastics packaging recycling targets for businesses obligated under the UK packaging regulations, going from 32% in 2012 to 57% by 2017.”
Kerbside schemes are now the predominant method for the collection of plastics packaging in the UK, said Recoup, although this might well change as rates increase. There are also concerns about what types of materials will need to be sorted.
“There are many possible scenarios about what might be collected from households in [the future],” Morgan added. “One of them described in the survey is that the plastics packaging collected from households could need to rise from 426,591 tonnes in 2011 to 828,297 tonnes in 2017.”
The survey was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, Nampak Plastics and Wellman Recycling (Indorama Ventures).