Saturday, 12 January 2019

"The reason we have a dearth of good quality recycled material is because we have such poor collection infrastructure."

There are mounting problems for councils over the recycling of plastic:
Futures Forum: Plastic waste > County Council's workshop ‘Making plastic pollution a thing of the past’ > but "the fact that plastic recycling is dubious and not the answer... got very heated"
Futures Forum: Plastic waste > East Devon's "high quality recycling now being transported to processing plants across the UK and Europe" > but where exactly does my recycling go?
Futures Forum: Councils face mounting costs of dealing with plastic waste: "manufacturers should take up more of the responsibility for dealing with these unrecyclable materials"
Futures Forum: Councils cut plastic recycling
Futures Forum: Plastic and councils: there is no one-size-fits-all solution OR a “barmy” mass of different local approaches to recycling

The government has promised to help:
Futures Forum: Simplifying councils' household recycling collections in the government's resources and waste strategy

The problem is that the recycling industry is not getting enough of the right stuff:
Futures Forum: "Poor quality of waste collected" in Devon

And it's not getting any better, as reported in the Independent: 

Recycling efforts hampered by lack of good quality recycled plastic

Rubbish in bins and recycling in boxes wait to be collected outside a residential property after Christmas (Getty)

Friday January 11th 2019

The UK’s recycling push is at risk from a lack of usable recycled plastic, manufacturers have claimed.

A survey of the companies that make products out of plastic has revealed a woeful lack of quantity and quality of recycled raw materials for them to use.

This means UK and European targets to significantly increase the amount of recycled plastic used in products by 2025 are “practically impossible” to meet, according to the research, by the European Plastic Converters Association.

The one in ten

This finds that only one of the ten most common forms of plastic – known as polymers – is available in sufficient quality and quantity to meet targets. This is PET, the kind of plastic used to make throwaway bottles.

“The quality of recycled plastic material, as well as the availability, needs to improve drastically. To achieve this, better collection and sorting of plastic waste are crucial,” the report concluded.

When waste is badly sorted, the various streams of polymers are contaminated by other materials. This reduces the quality of the resulting recycled plastic.

Need for better technology

Investing in better recycling technologies and redesigning products to make them easier to recycle by mixing together fewer polymers would also help, the research found.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Julian Kirby said: “The reason we have a dearth of good quality recycled material is because we have such poor collection infrastructure. We need to seriously and quickly turn that around which means building infrastructure in this country and ensuring good quality local authority collection.”

Last month, the government announced measures to improve recycling, including the introduction of consistent recycling rules across all councils to clear up confusion and a bottle deposit scheme in 2023.

The UK will burn more than half its rubbish as it doubles the number of incinerators over next 10 years - i news

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