A campaign to improve the recycling of soft plastics in South Gloucestershire has taken a major step forward following lobbying of the Recycling Minister by local MPs in Parliament.
Chris Skidmore and Luke Hall met with Rebecca Pow MP, the Environment Minister in DEFRA, to push for South Gloucestershire’s inclusion in a forthcoming national pilot.
Flexible plastic packaging represents nearly a quarter of all UK consumer plastic packaging, but only 6 per cent is currently recycled. And so DEFRA’s s Consultation on Consistency in Household and Business Recycling proposes that plastic films and flexibles should be collected by local authorities as soon as possible, and no later than the end of financial year 2025/26. A pilot is planned to find out how quickly this can be realistically done.
South Gloucestershire Council already has one of the highest recycling rates in the country, but are looking at ways to further improve on this, drive recycling to 70% with zero biogenic waste to landfill by 2030.
However soft-plastics, which includes items such as plastic bags, fruit and vegetable packaging, pet food pouches and yoghurt pots and lids, are not currently collected from residents’ homes, with many families unable to regularly recycle these products.
“We have a great level of recycling here in South Gloucestershire – one of the highest in the country – and that’s thanks to the incredible efforts of environmentally-mindful residents who sort their waste and recycling every week.
But there is more that could be done to support local households – and being part of this forthcoming national pilot would be a great way to recycle more soft plastics and help better protect our precious environment.
I was pleased to meet with the Environment Minister to raise the profile of our campaign and will continue to push for residents and businesses to be supported in their efforts to protect our planet.”