UK plastic waste arisings 3.7m tonnes in 2014

Plastic waste arisings in the UK were estimated to be 3.7 million in 2014. That included around 2.2 million tonnes of packaging out of which 1.5 million came from consumers, a […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Plastic waste arisings in the UK were estimated to be 3.7 million in 2014.

That included around 2.2 million tonnes of packaging out of which 1.5 million came from consumers, a report by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has revealed.

It stated the largest source of plastic packaging is the grocery retail sector, accounting for almost one million tonnes during the same period.

However it added improvements have been made through the circular economy between local authorities, the recycling industry and other parts of the supply chain.

It found a 50% increase in recycling of plastic packaging and progress in the introduction of mixed plastic collections by local authorities.

WRAP said it is however concerned the UK may not achieve future plastic recycling targets.

The “key challenge” will be meeting EU targets, including a goal of recycling 55% of all packaging, it added.

Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP said: “There is still more to be done with challenging targets looming and testing market conditions.This report provides much needed clarity to some of the challenges the sector has faced recently as well as confidence on where to invest next.

“Plastic recyclers don’t have to wait for oil prices to rise again. There are markets out there that will work that aren’t linked to oil prices. It’s about keeping costs low, not overreaching and identifying an end product to sell the reprocessed materials into.”

Earlier this month M&S, Aldi and Sainsbury’s were among supermarkets which committed to new waste targets.