WRAP drives action to recycle more mixed plastics

13th October 2008

Recent research by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) shows that recycling of domestic mixed plastics in the UK is environmentally and economically viable.

As a result of the research, WRAP is now starting several major projects across the supply chain to understand how best to implement collection of mixed plastics, to sort and reprocess these plastics, and to design and manufacture plastics packaging to be more recyclable.

In one major project, WRAP aims to demonstrate the detailed business case for an integrated mixed plastics waste management solution in the UK.  Supporting large scale trials to recycle mixed plastics from both households and retail take back schemes, the project will show how these mixed plastics can be sorted and reprocessed back into new packaging and other high quality plastic materials. The trials, which start imminently, will be undertaken by a consortium, led by Nextek Limited, and involve Sainsbury’s, Valpak, Bowman Process Technology, Closed Loop Recycling, Linpac and CeDo . The trials will include an assessment of how Material Recovery Facilities can incorporate mixed plastics and the best outcome for the film component in mixed plastic.

In addition, Eunomia in partnership with Resource Futures have been appointed to study the most effective way to collect mixed plastics, and are already consulting with those local authorities currently collecting mixed plastics and future possibilities with retailers.  WRAP will be engaging with all interested local authorities as this work develops.

Peter Maddox, Head of Manufacturing at WRAP said: “We are delighted to be working closely with the whole supply chain, in partnership with Defra, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly, to help drive forward mixed plastics recycling.

“We are keen to ensure the economic viability of this new part of the reprocessing sector, and pleased by the commitment shown from all involved. Working in such a joined up manner will enable a mixed plastics recycling infrastructure to be developed more quickly.”

  • WRAP helps individuals, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste and recycle more, making better use of resources and helping to tackle climate change.
  • Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Working in seven key areas (Construction, Retail, Manufacturing, Organics, Business Growth, Behavioural Change, and Local Authority Support), WRAP’s work focuses on market development and support to drive forward recycling and materials resource efficiency within these sectors, as well as wider communications and awareness activities including the multi-media national Recycle Now campaign for England.
  • More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on www.wrap.org.uk