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ECO Plastics Urges U.K. Agency to Boost Plastic Quality Levels (Eco news)

ECO Plastics Urges U.K. Agency to Boost Plastic Quality Levels
Recycling Today reported

ECO Plastics, a plastic bottle recycling firm located in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, says it has found that the deteriorating quality of plastics collected for recycling in the United Kingdom is costing local authorities £10 million ($16.3 million) each year because of the reduced sale value of the material.

In a statement released by the company, ECO Plastics expresses concern that local authority spending cuts could further reduce the quality of recycling collection and that, ultimately, councils could face a £20 million ($32.6 million) per year bill to landfill the poorest quality collected materials (which cannot be recycled).

ECO Plastics says as recently as 2008, a typical bale of collected plastics arriving at the company’s Hemswell recycling facility contained 95 percent plastic bottles. Today, the figure stands at 80 percent or less, meaning that local authorities are receiving £40 less for every metric ton of plastic they collect.

With the amount of plastic bottles collected growing each year (260,000 metric tons in 2010), council losses are expected to exceed £10 million in 2011.

ECO Plastics, which says it operates Europe’s most technically advanced plastic bottle recycling facility, is calling for the U.K. to “get back to basics” in a bid to improve the quality of collected plastics and help councils maximize the value of the secondary commodity.

“Plastic bottles are far and away the most valuable, highest quality plastic recyclate,” says Jonathan Short,ECO Plastics’ managing director. “Our plant can process 300,000 bottles an hour, but in recent years we have seen a significant drop in the bottle content of our baled raw material. The U.K.’s nascent recycling infrastructure is being made to work harder to reach the required level of quality, not least for use in food-grade recycled packaging. Local authorities are missing out on easy money at a time when every penny counts.


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