Plastics Spatial Flow

4th August 2016

The report presents the results of the quantification of plastic (both packaging and non-packaging) in the UK from the point of it arising, through to its end destination of recycling, energy from waste (EfW), mechanical biological treatment (MBT) or landfill. 

The Plastics Spatial Flow report finds that around 3.3Mt of plastic arose in the UK in 2013. Of this, approximately one-third was collected for re-use, recycling or recovery and the remaining two-thirds became residual waste. 

The report also assesses how much plastic is locked into PFI/PPP contracts and therefore may not be available to plastic reprocessing or ACT/ATT. Finally it determines the geographical location of available arisings, and the amount of plastic arising at key commercial aggregation points.

An estimated 2.3 Mt of plastic was not recycled in the UK in 2013.  Of that figure almost 1.9 Mt of plastic was not subject to a long term PFI/PPP contract. Of this an estimated 1.1Mt (57%) was thought to be most suitable for ACT/ATT (the polymers PE, PP/OPP and PS/HIPS). Meanwhile, an estimated 0.5Mt of plastic was not recycled but is under PFI/PPP contract.