Recycling consultancy Recoup has revealed household plastic collection rates have slowed but has insisted it remains “upbeat” about the potential for growth through further infrastructure development, consumer engagement and supporting policy.
Recoup's 2016 UK Household Plastics Collection Survey found that a total of 499,625 tonnes were collected for recycling from UK households, consisting of 340,000 tonnes of plastic bottles and just under 160,000 tonnes of plastic pots, tubs and trays.
This represented an overall increase of just over 1% from the previous year.
With most local authorities in the UK providing a collection service for plastic bottles, the number of new collection services for non-bottle material is also slowing down. It was reported 74% (290) local authorities in the UK collect plastic pots, tubs and trays and 20% (80) local authorities collect plastic film as part of their kerbside collection service.
Recoup technical manager Steve Morgan said: "Recoup had hoped to report that more than half a million tonnes of plastic packaging was collected for recycling from UK households in 2015, but collection level increases have slowed.”
In the 2015, survey questions were asked about whether local authorities believed waste collection services were harmonised with other regions, with just 26% thinking their collection services were aligned with other authorities.
The 2016 survey reported 52% of local authorities believed recycling collections were aligned with other authorities. The key target for improvement focusses on standardising the material collected, with 80% of these stating alignment of material or plastic types collected.