Government waste group to double plastic recycling in UK

A group set up by the Government to promote sustainable waste disposal in the UK has announced that it intends to double the recycling of plastic drinks bottles by offering financial support to companies to develop processing infrastructure and divert an additional 20,000 tonnes per year to recycling.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) states that currently only 3% of the UK’s 500,000 tonnes per year of post-consumer plastic bottles are being collected for recycling, primarily due to the costs of collection and sorting of the bottles from the municipal waste stream.

WRAP intends that new plastic recycling facilities should come on stream in 2003, with specified intermediate tonnages until full capacity is reached by 2005.

“Improving the economics will make plastic bottle collection more attractive to local authorities, and this can be achieved by creating regional automatic sorting facilities which offer economies of scale and avoid the high costs associated with manual sorting,” said Paul Davidson, WRAP’s Materials Sector Manager for Plastics. “Once local authorities can justify the inclusion of plastic bottle collections in their waste management contracts, and the collection and sorting infrastructure is in place, UK reprocessing capacity will then grow to accommodate the increased volume.”

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