Although we recycle and re-use ‘waste’ timber, the recycling of plastic waste is something that is increasingly in the public eye.
January 2018 saw China begin to enforce its rules on banning the importing of 24 grades of solid waste, including plastic.
Britain currently exports about 500,000 tonnes of plastic waste, mainly to China, for recycling. Alternative markets will need to be found for this waste but this will not be a quick process and much of it will be destined for landfill or incineration (Energy from Waste).
Our Governement will need to address this issue fairly quickly (although our recycling facilities are nearing capacity) and with some innovation.
Reducng the production of single-use plastics is one way of achieving a more manageable solution – Coca-Cola alone are estimated to produce 110 billion single-use bottles worldwide per year. Biodegradeable and plant-based plastics will also be part of the solution, although they both come with their own unique issues – biodegradeable plastics will only biodegrade in high temperature industrial composting facilities.
Another option that is being considered is a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles. Approx. 16 million plastic bottles go unrecycled in the UK and the DRS solution may go some way to addressing this – DRS have been credited with increasing collection rates up to 90% – as clean plastic waste is easier to recycling. Increased recycling facilities will need to be built in the UK to process this extra plastic and to deal with the plastic we no longer export.
Other overseas destinations for our plastic waste are currently being sought too.
UK recycling % figures are sure to fall until a sustainable solution can be found.
- Posted by midsussexwoodrecycling
- On 26th February 2018
- 0 Comments