Collection and Sorting of Household Rigid Plastic Packaging

7th December 2016

An increasing number of local authorities are adding non-bottle rigid plastic packaging, comprising pots, tubs and trays, to existing kerbside recycling schemes. We have produced a guide which sets out key considerations, benefits and options of taking this approach.

Key points
There is significant scope to increase the capture of all forms of rigid plastic packaging for recycling
The collection of plastic bottles has increased dramatically over the last decade and is now commonplace in most local authorities. Opportunities now exist to include more packaging types into local collections



This guide is aimed specifically at local authorities that:

  • Currently provide a kerbside collection of plastic bottles and are looking for advice on expanding these collections to include other forms of rigid plastic packaging.
  • Are seeking advice on introducing rigid plastic packaging to a kerbside recycling collection.

It is targeted at senior officers and decision makers within local authorities and aims to communicate the key messages in a digestible, concise format that is easily accessible either on-line or as printed copy

While the guide is likely to be useful to authorities in all nations, steps should be taken to ensure that local policies and material outlets are considered. It also contains links to further detailed information, including a separate guide for local authorities looking to optimise existing plastic bottle-only collections.

To find out more, use the links below:

Download the guide >>
Read case studies >>
Access Communications materials >>




To find information related to this report, please use the following links:

Scottish funding options >>
Case study: Biffa polymers mixed plastics recycling facility >>
Waste management options report >>
Commercial scale trials >>
Financial viability assessment >>

Communications materials

To communicate the rigid plastic packing message wider we have created communications material which has gone through rigorous consumer testing, including flyers, posters and bus advertising. More details on this process can be found on the Recycle Now partners website.

The materials for England and Northern Ireland can be found at the Recycle Now partners website.

Scottish partners can request artwork by emailing: 

Welsh authorities can request artwork by emailing: or call 02920 468613.

Where next?

Want to know more about plastics in Dry Materials? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>