While the report shows the majority of people regularly recycle plastic, the many different ways in which recycling is collected by different councils across the UK has left them confused, with 47 per cent of people disagreeing at home over what should and shouldn’t go in the plastic recycling. BBC analysis also shows there are 39 different sets of rules for what can be put in plastic recycling collections, with most collecting bottles but only some collecting pots and tubs.
“The report highlights the inconsistency and confusion across local councils when it comes to what you can and cannot recycle – and how it is collected too,” says Robert Logan, Managing Director for WCRS. “We would like to see more uniformity and an increased breadth in recycling and better communication with householders. With less than half of the plastic waste in the UK recycled, we need to do better!
“A significant proportion of plastic waste comes from UK households with the average household throwing away around 40kg of plastic a year. It is therefore crucial that there is a more consistent approach to the problem so that the much needed infrastructure can be implemented for plastics recycling in the UK. This will help to ensure there are better solutions available for both businesses and consumers when it comes to recycling plastics.”
WCRS would like to see the government consider imposing measures such as using new clearer recycling labels on plastic, and encouraging manufacturers to use only more easily recycled plastic. All four nations are looking to improve recycling rates with England aiming to recycle 50 per cent of all waste by 2020.
“We know from experience that managing waste is all about communication, helping those within a home or business understand exactly what can and cannot be recycled,” explains Robert. “This report highlights the confusion within households about what can and cannot be recycled, within 47 per cent of households, there are debates on what can and can’t go into certain bins. If we are to meet our recycling targets in the UK, then this consultation will hopefully be a move towards a more consistent approach.”