Rigid plastic packaging

WRAP has been working with industry to develop recycling of plastics pots, tubs and trays in the UK and ensure that recycling infrastructure and end markets are in place for this valuable resource.

Around 500,000 tonnes of rigid mixed plastics (pots, tubs, and trays) enters the household waste stream in the UK each year and in the UK in 2011/12 45% of local authorities provided kerbside collections of non-bottle rigid plastics, up from 35% the previous year.

WRAP awarded a capital grant to Biffa Polymers to open the UK’s first integrated washing and sorting facility for rigid mixed plastics.

A loan fund and capital grant is also available for mixed plastics recycling in Scotland.

WRAP is working in partnership with industry to overcome technical barriers to recycling. Examples of our work in this area include:

  • A summary report examining the rigid plastic packaging arising and recycling in the Commercial and Inustrial sectors.

  • A viable process to recycle post-consumer polypropylene packaging waste into recycled PP (rPP) suitable for use in the manufacture of new food packaging.  A business case for using commercial and industrial material as a source has been developed;

  • To enable black plastics packaging to be recycled; and
  • Encouraging design for recyclability of pots tubs and trays including the use of removable colour systems to help maximise the quality of recycled pot, tub and tray material.
  • Developing and optimising the recycling process and identifying potential economically viable end-markets for PET from PPTs to help drive demand and give confidence to the market to collect more mixed plastics.