A new technical guide that aims to help local authorities increase plastic bottle recycling rates has been launched by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap).
According to the organisation, with demand for PET and HDPE recyclate soaring local authorities have a “significant opportunity” to boost overall recycling rates by focusing on collections of plastic bottles.
Linda Crichton, head of collections at Wrap, said the growth in plastic bottle recycling had been remarkable over the past 10 years.
“Back in 2000, only around 12,000 tonnes of plastic bottles were recycled in the UK – it's now nearly 20 times that amount,” she said.
“We're also seeing rapid growth in domestic infrastructure to reprocess plastic bottles, some of which are even producing recycled food grade materials. Around half of the plastic bottles collected for recycling are now reprocessed in the UK,” she added.
Jonathan Short, managing director of ECO Plastics welcomed the publication of the guide: "It is very encouraging that Wrap has taken the bull by the horns and addressed the critical issue of plastic bottle collections.
“As a re-processor, we would like to echo the issues expressed in the report and call on local authorities to consider the consequences of plastic bottle-only services drifting to mixed collections in the context of the UK's sorting capacity.
"We also believe that communicating the message to householders that all plastic bottles can be recycled, regardless of polymers, is of paramount importance,” he added.
The guide can be downloaded from: www.wrap.org.uk/plasticbottleguidance.
A second technical guide and supporting communications materials focussing on the collection of rigid household plastic packaging is due to be published by Wrap in the spring.