Only a third of UK consumers’ plastic packaging is recycled

A Recoup survey has revealed that two-thirds of household waste is sent to landfill or incinerated each year.

Out of the 1.5 million tonnes of recyclable plastic waste used by consumers in Britain last year, only half was recycled according to the figures compiled by the Recoup UK Household Plastics Collection Survey. This is considerably below the national average for recycling with only 45% of recyclable goods being recycled each year.

Recoup found that consumers were most likely to recycle plastic bottles more than other plastic materials with numbers reaching 7.5 billion out of 13 billion (57%) plastic bottles used by UK households each year. Whereas, only about 30% of all plastic pots, tubs and trays were recycled.

Carrier bags, pasta and rice bags, and the film on ready meals were found to have been the items that people are least likely to recycle with only 3% of which were believed to be recycled in 2015. This is largely due to the fact that just 80 Local Authorities around the country (20%) provide a recycling service for the collection of these materials.

Recycled plastic products can be turned into a range of other things including plastic furniture, football shirts, sleeping bags, bumpers for cars and building products.

Despite these figures, there has been a considerable increase in the amount of plastics recycled across the EU in the past decade. Between 2006-2014 there was a 64% increase in recycling of plastics and a 38% reduction in landfill caused by plastics which is a huge success story of the last 20 years

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