Only a third of plastic packaging is being recycled

recycled plastic bottles

Only a third of plastic packaging used in consumer products is recycled each year a survey by Recoup has revealed.


Of the 1.5m tonnes of recyclable plastic was used by consumers in Britain in 2015 only 500,000 tonnes was recycled with the majority being sent to landfill or incinerated.


Recycling groups say the main problem is that the consumers are unsure about which items can be recycled. ‘Most people recognise a plastic bottle as something you can recycle, the recycling rate is about 60% for plastic bottles but when you start talking about other products, plastic pots and trays – a yogurt pot, a margarine tub – the recycling rate is far lower’ says Steve Morgan, technical manager at the plastic recycling charity Recoup.


The worst offender is plastic film products. Which include carrier bags, pasta and rice bags and the film on ready meals. Only about 3% of which were believed to be recycled in 2015. This is largely due to the fact that only about 20% of Local Authorities provide a recycling service for this material.


Steve Morgan also stated that ‘The general message is that the amount of plastic packaging in landfill has decreased, it’s a huge success story of the last 20 years. But so much more can be done. There’s plenty of material that comes through the household that ends in the bin.’


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