The new Government-backed cross industry partnership is led by plastics recycling body Recoup. It aims to increase the collection of plastic packaging for recycling.

The initiative has been formulated in response to challenging packaging recycling targets set by the Government for the period 2013-17. Plastic packaging recycling levels need to double over this five year period.

Increasing household plastic packaging recycling will be pivotal to achieving these targets, according to the steering group. Without intervention, the UK will fall short and packaging recovery note (PRN) prices and costs to businesses will rise.

With all UK local authorities providing service provision for recycling of plastic bottles, the Pledge 4 Plastics campaign is urging people to make a promise to recycle just one extra plastic bottle per household each week using their existing services.

With the current household plastic bottle-recycling rate of only 58%, there is vast potential for increased collections.

The campaign will aim to help the householder to remember that not only are water and milk bottles recyclable, but other plastics from around the house are too. Shampoo bottles, shower gels, bleach and cooking oil, as well as food pots, tubs and trays will all be highlighted by the campaign.

As well as being backed by Coca-Cola Enterprises, Marks & Spencer and Nestlé, the initiative is also being supported by partners including waste management firm Veolia, plastic packaging specialist RPC, Closed Loop Recycling, Valpak, Kent Resource Partnership, Surrey County Council, PlasticsEurope, WRAP and Defra.

Resources Management Minister Dan Rogerson said: “The UK has made tremendous progress on recycling over the last 10 years, building a stronger circular economy and greener society, and this reflects a lot of hard work from industry and local authorities, alongside a desire from residents to do more.

“This is another great initiative to boost the recycling of plastic packaging which has our full and ongoing support – I’ve already made my pledge and encourage others to sign-up to do their bit.”

Coca-Cola Enterprises recycling campaigns manager Giustina Diana added: “As a leading manufacturer in the soft drinks industry we understand the challenges faced in collecting and recycling materials.

“Plastics has been a core focus at Coca-Cola Enterprises for some years, during which we have invested in a variety of technologies and initiatives to help improve recycling rates in GB.

“The Pledge 4 Plastics initiative is another important part of this journey. We share common objectives and are proud to be a partner.”

Liz Gyekye

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