More plastics could be recycled at home

Brittle plastics like margarine tubs and yoghurt pots that usually ends up in the bin could soon be added to the list of household materials recycled by local authorities.

Plastic milk and drinks bottles tend to be the only plastics that most kerbside schemes will currently accept as there have previously been technical and commercial barriers to recycling other plastics.

But trials run by the Government-funded Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) suggest that this could soon change.

WRAP claims that the trials have proven the business case for recycling a wider variety of plastics and has also announced new funding to help put the infrastructure in place to enable this to happen.

The funding will come in the form of a £2 million capital grant competition administered by WRAP to help the recycling supply chain build the capacity for recycling more plastics packaging.

Marcus Gover, director of market development at WRAP said: “The grant is designed to help stimulate the development of waste management infrastructure and boost recycling capacity by at least 40,000 tonnes per year by 2011.”

“In support of the grant scheme, WRAP has also published further research designed to inform the choices and decisions made by local authorities and businesses at every stage of the plastics recycling process.

“The suite of research available looks at the opportunities and financial implications of recycling more non-bottle household plastics packaging and examines the practical and commercial viability of developing the next stage in the recycling chain.”

He added that the demand for more recycling options for non-bottle plastics packaging in the UK was being driven by consumers and that end markets for the recyclate would continue to grow both domestically and overseas.

Sam Bond

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