SCI weekly research round-up 5 April

One Bin Schematic
One Bin Schematic

Plastic packaging recycling remains disorganised and inefficient across the UK. A new policy report, from the University of Manchester’s ’One Bin to Rule Them All’ research team, outlines three best practice responses. These are crucial to tackling the pla

One Bin Schematic

Plastic recycling remains a persistent and stubborn challenge. The UK simply does not recycle enough. And while waste reduction and reuse remain important, there is no getting away from the need to drastically improve rates of recycling.

A new policy report, from the University of Manchester’s ’ One Bin to Rule Them Al l’ research team, explains what is needed to abate the problems faced.

In the report - Tackling Household Plastic Waste: Best Practice for a Circular Plastics Economy - the team outline three best practice responses.

They call for policy makers and industry players to better understand the difficulties households face when trying to do the recycling properly. In many cases, these challenges are not of the consumer’s making, lying instead in overly complicated forms of packaging and confusing waste processing systems.

Building on this call, the team stress the need for standardisation and consistency across supply, disposal, and recovery. Simplified packaging, consistent and coherent messaging, and complementing infrastructure should be guiding principles of policy making and investment.

To make sure sustainability is at the core of decision making, there also needs to be a greater awareness of the current and potential fates of waste plastics. The team have developed an online tool that provides this crucial insight. It leaves influential actors well placed to take decisions that limit environmental harm and increase sustainability.

The full report can be accessed and read here. It provides a strong footing for the step change in plastics recycling that is clearly and urgently required.