British Plastics Federation releases 2021 Recycling Roadmap

The British Plastic Federation (BPF) has released its Recycling Roadmap for 2021, highlighting what the UK would need to do to achieve greater plastic recycling and reduce the current reliance on exports.

With appropriate measures in place, and investment and legislation changes, The BPF estimates that plastic recycled within UK facilities could increase 3.5 times by the year 2030 and the volume of materials exported more than halved.

The report highlights 16 key changes that are needed to impact upon the amount of plastic recycled. Some of these link closely to the upcoming changes to the Resources and Waste Strategy, which are due to enter the second round of consultations this spring. These include the consistency of plastic waste collection schemes across all local authorities, the kerbside collection of plastic film, increases in the use of recycled material in new products and better communication to the public about what can be recycled.

The development and introduction of new technologies would also be a key component of rapid change, with emphasis put upon chemical recycling and other methodologies being used at a much greater scale, which could lead to the volume of plastic processed increasing dramatically.

"The report from the BPF is encouraging in its assessment of achievements that can be made within the recycling and waste industry, however the changes that need to be made are great and must be approached with circular economy thinking in mind."

Martin Trigg-Knight, Head of Packaging at Clarity Environmental

In launching the Recycling Roadmap, Philip Law, Director General of the BPF, states:

“The BPF Recycling Roadmap shows that with the right collaborative effort, we have the potential to be a leading light when it comes to rapidly developing the technology and infrastructure to recycle far more plastic.

“Drastically reducing our reliance on exporting plastic waste for recycling and the amount of plastic waste going to landfill is achievable and this roadmap shows how. Most importantly, there needs to be significant investment in increasing UK recycling capacity.”

Martin Trigg-Knight, Head of Packaging at Clarity Environmental, said of the report:

“The report from the BPF is encouraging in its assessment of achievements that can be made within the recycling and waste industry, however the changes that need to be made are great and must be approached with circular economy thinking in mind.

“It is important to bring some of the changes listed in the Recycling Roadmap into consideration when looking at the Resources and Waste Strategy going forward; local councils, industry, reprocessors and producers will all need much more transparency going forward to ensure all stakeholders have a clear path of how we will be approaching our waste management in the coming years.”

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