What plastic can be recycled in the district?
Residents are now able to recycle their mixed plastic bottles in the plastic banks available across the district. The following types of plastic bottles are accepted in the recycling banks, but please remove the bottle tops as these are not accepted by the reprocessor and prevent the bottles being squashed when they are baled:
· PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) or Type 1 - typically fizzy drinks and water bottles
· HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) or Type 2 - typically milk, washing up liquid, bleach and shampoo bottles
To find out what type your bottle is simply look for the triangular symbol (usually on the base). The number or type will be located inside the triangle. Currently we are still unable to accept trays and punnets that bear the Type 1 or Type 2 symbol as they are not yet accepted by our plastic reprocessor.
Please do not put other types of plastic in the banks (such as yoghurt pots and margarine tubs) as these are made from a different type of plastic and will contaminate the load. While most reprocessors accept a small degree of contamination, if too many of these other types of plastics are found the reprocessor could reject the whole load.
Find out more about plastic recycling symbols. (scroll to the bottom of the page displayed).
Where can I recycle my plastic bottles?
The council has placed a number of large mixed plastic bottle banks at locations across the district. In addition, most of our smaller recycling sites also have plastic banks. Click here to find your nearest plastics recycling site.
Why are plastic bottles not collected from the kerbside?
There are many reasons as to why plastic bottles are not collected as part of the kerbside recycling round.
Firstly, due to the bulky nature of the bottles, our vehicles would become full very quickly (while compartments for other materials could still be only part full). This would result in the vehicle having to go the bulking facility (based outside of the district) to off load before continuing its collection schedule. This not only has time and environmental implications in terms of the distance travelled but would also increase the costs of providing the service through the need for more trips to and from the bulking facility.
Secondly, there are many different types of plastic; these cannot be collected together without a sophisticated sorting plant at the bulking facility to sort them into the different polymer types. Currently there is no such sorting facility available in Gloucestershire.
Why can I not recycle other types of plastic?
Plastic bottles are made from two easily recyclable plastics (PET and HDPE) and can be recycled in the district's many plastic banks. However, there are about 50 different types of plastic in use, some of which can be recycled in the UK and other types – such as that used to make yoghurt pots and margarine tubs - that require new technology which as yet is not currently available here, to recycle it efficiently. As a result some plastic still goes to landfill, is incinerated or exported for recycling and reuse.
The technology for the recycling of plastics is continuing to improve however. This, combined with support from supermarkets, manufacturers and organisations, such as the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) who undertake vital research in how recycling can be improved as well as providing valuable support and advice, should mean that it won’t be long before better recycling systems are available for a whole range of plastic packaging.