UK plastics collected: Almost 60 per cent was exported for recycling

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Kunststoffrecycling (Foto: Erema)

Banbury, UK – A summary of UK plastic flows shows that around 3.3Mt of plastic arose in the UK in 2013. Of this, approximately one-third was collected for re-use, recycling or recovery and the remaining two-thirds became residual waste. Over 60 per cent of plastic arose from households, with the remainder from the commercial sector. Almost 70 per cent of total plastic arising is thought to be packaging, with the rest mainly being found in carpets, construction and demolition (C&D) and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

According to a new study by WRAP and Valpak, of the plastics collected almost 60 per cent was exported for recycling in 2013. The majority of collected plastic remaining in the UK was recycled (67 per cent). Plastic residual waste was treated in one of three ways; landfill (~37 per cent), Energy-from-Waste (56 per cent), or Mechanical-Biological Treatment (7 per cent).

An estimated 2,343kt of plastic was not recycled in 2013. Of that figure 1,872kt of plastic was not subject to a long term PFI/PPP contract. Of this an estimated 1,067kt (57 per cent) was thought to be most suitable for ACT/ATT (the polymers PE, PP/OPP and PS/HIPS). Meanwhile, an estimated 471kt of plastic was not recycled but is under PFI/PPP contract with 268kt thought to be suitable for ACT/ATT.

Looking to the future, overall household waste plastic arising’s may grow during the period to 2030 as UK household numbers increase and consumption of plastic increases. At the same time waste plastic arising’s from the commercial sector are also likely to grow as demand for construction, agriculture, electrical, automotive and other products rises.

The full report on UK`s „Plastics Spatial Flow“ is available under wrap.org.uk.

Source: WRAP / Valpak