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European plastics groups take a recycling pledge

European plastics groups take a recycling pledge
The UK is not messing around when it comes to increasing recycling. In 2012, the UK announced plans to increase recycling from 32% in 2012 to 57% by 2017.

The UK is not messing around when it comes to increasing recycling. In 2012, the UK announced plans to increase recycling from 32% in 2012 to 57% by 2017. Well, 2017 is not that far away and as such, the British Plastics Federation (BPF), the Packaging and Films Association (PAFA) and Plastics Europe announce that they intend to adopt the work program known as PIRAP (Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan) and develop it further into a detailed action plan to help the industry move toward the 2017 plastics recycling targets required by UK government. These three groups are also behind Plastics2020, a campaign to increase the rate of plastics recycling. 

PIRAP was formed to identify actions required to improve plastic recycling in the UK. Coordinated by WRAP, a nonprofit backed by the government, the program has brought together a total of 48 stakeholders from government and business including all Plastics 2020 members.

Plastics 2020, aided by WRAP, will now seek support from a wide range of stakeholders including brands, retailers, local authorities, waste management companies, UK central government departments and agencies, as well as their own industry members and recyclers in order to turn this framework document into specific actions to help secure the increased tonnage that will be needed if plastics recycling is to be elevated to the high level required in the UK.

It's no secret that too much recyclable plastic material is sent to landfill, which is a waste of a valuable resource.  The PIRAP program has highlighted a number of areas where improvements could be made to enhance collection rates, adopt best-in-class collection methods, optimize sorting infrastructure and develop end markets.

 However, it must be emphasized that to reach the UK recycling targets for 2017 - and the recent European Commission proposals for even higher targets - will require urgent action by all stakeholders and a step change in all of these areas, the group stated.

 In a joint statement, the partners said: "The UK has made tremendous progress in recent years and the Plastics 2020 Consortium believe that if we can further improve infrastructure links and engender closer working relationships between all the relevant stakeholders, a vibrant recycling business sector, producing high quality products and additional jobs, will continue to develop within the UK."


Plastic recycling organization Recoup has launched its Pledge4Plastics campaign that will work to play an important part in helping councils to convince consumers proactively recycle the plastics packaging they use.
 The group behind Plastics 2020 say they strongly supports the Pledge4Plastics campaign as part of their wider commitment to help recover more recyclable plastic packaging through the mobilization of a wide range of stakeholders. 

With all UK local authorities providing service provision for recycling of plastic bottles, the Pledge4Plastics campaign is urging people to make a promise to recycle just one extra plastic bottle per household each week using their existing services. With the current household plastic bottle recycling rate of only 58%, there is vast potential for increased collections. By diverting more material to recycling, this campaign will deliver economic and environmental benefits for waste management companies, local authorities and reprocessors.

Recoup says that it's important to remember that Pledge4Plastics is not just about recycling water and drinks bottles, it includes all types of plastic bottles from every room in the home, ranging from shampoo bottles and shower gels, to domestic bleach and cooking oil bottles. In addition to recycling food pots, tubs and trays (like yogurt pots, margarine tubs and lasagna trays) where services exist to collect them for recycling.

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