Plastic bottle recycling must double

With four out of five plastic bottles currently being binned in the UK a series of seminars has been launched to help councils and their contractors get to grips with the importance of recycling them and offer advice on how rates might be increased.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has organised sessions around the country and is inviting local authorities to take part, free of charge.

Plastic recycling is far from reaching its full potential in the UK and WRAP has launched a campaign it is calling Target Ten which aims to reach a rate of 10kg of plastics recycled per household, per year. At the moment the average is just over 5kg.

“Plastic bottle collection rates have grown at a tremendous rate over the last three years, for which local authorities must be congratulated,” said Paul Davidson, WRAP’s plastics technical manager. “To be approaching a collection rate of 20% is strong progress given that the UK was collecting just 3% in 2001.

“However, this does mean the UK is still throwing away more than four bottles in every five, so it is essential this increase in recycling is accelerated. These seminars are an opportunity for local authorities and waste management companies to share good practice with each other, and to discuss ways in which these rates can be further improved.

“We will also be introducing our new support toolkit for local authorities as well other initiatives in this area.”

Participants will be able to assess how their existing schemes are performing and gauge how well they are doing when compared with their peers.

WRAP is also asking council to bring along representatives from their waste contractors.

Topics covered in the seminars will include the importance of plastic bottle collections in meeting recycling targets, the business case for improving and expanding kerbside schemes and what measures can be taken to achieve the 10kg target.

Local authorities who are already meeting or exceeding this collection rate will also be on hand to share their experiences.

Four seminars are planned around England, beginning in Stoke-on-Trent on February 28, then moving to Leeds on March1 , Bristol on March 7 and ending in London on March 8.

Full details of the seminar programme and venues are available from WRAP’s Jill Burger at [email protected]

Sam Bond

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