UK recycling campaign puts plastic packaging high on the agenda

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

UK recycling campaign puts plastic packaging high on the agenda

Related tags: Recyclable materials

The Pledge 4 Plastics national recycling campaign has been launched in the UK aiming to increase the collection of plastic packaging for recycling.

In the cosmetics, and many other household industries, there has long been a debate over the reliance on the consumer to recycle plastic packs after use as it is out of the control of companies, and the new government backed cross industry partnership hopes to tackle this.

Recycling levels have plateaued in recent years and there are challenging recycling targets for packaging waste for the period 2013-17, meaning that plastic packaging recycling levels need to double over this five year period.


Campaign organisers say that increasing household plastic packaging recycling will be pivotal to achieving these targets and that without intervention, the UK will fall short and PRN prices and costs to businesses will rise.

The campaign has full government support. Resources Management Minister Dan Rogerson says: “The UK has made tremendous progress on recycling over the last 10 years, building a stronger circular economy and greener society, and this reflects a lot of hard work from industry and local authorities, alongside a desire from residents to do more.”

“This is another great initiative to boost the recycling of plastic packaging which has our full and ongoing support – I’ve already made my pledge and encourage others to sign-up to do their bit.”


The Pledge 4 Plastics campaign is urging people to make a promise to recycle just one extra plastic bottle per household each week using their existing services.

With the current household plastic bottle recycling rate of only 58%, there is vast potential for increased collections. By diverting more material to recycling, this campaign will deliver economic and environmental benefits for waste management companies, local authorities and reprocessors.

The campaign also recognises the opportunity to improve the consistency of message which will be key to reduce the confusion that consumers face.

The focus will not just be about recycling water and drinks bottles, it includes all types of plastic bottles from every room in the home, including cosmetics packs, shampoo bottles and shower gels.

Related topics: Packaging & Design, Packaging

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