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Consulting for clarity

This week the government launched a series of consultations relating to its Resources and Waste Strategy published in December 2018. The consultations are around four key areas of change surrounding existing waste and recycling practices.

One consultation seeks views on the development of a consistent set of materials to be collected for recycling by local authorities in England. This is in a bid to curb confusion amongst householders about what they can and cannot recycle and to reduce contamination. The consultation will consider how collection methods can be standardised across England, and which materials should be collected by local authorities. This includes plastic bottles, tubs, pots and trays, glass bottles and jars, paper, cardboard and metal packaging.

A nationwide, uniform collection scheme would be welcomed by Casepak. This will help householders to avoid confusion about what type of juice carton (for example) can be recycled particularly if proposals to introduce consistent labelling on packaging is adopted. A streamlined approach would also be a huge step towards combating contamination.

At the MRF, we have often been faced with contaminated materials, such as an unwashed glass jar, being mixed up with material that is clean and dry – material that is otherwise perfect for reprocessors. Plastic film is also an issue as householders put carrier bags and cling film in with other recyclates. This has huge operational implications for the MRF, but also for reprocessors. By adopting a consistent approach, there will be less potential for householders to be confused about what materials can be recycled, which should hopefully lead to a reduction in contaminated and unsuitable material entering the waste stream.

For more information on the consultation and to take part please visit this link.