Archive for February, 2023

Snap up an early-bird RECOUP Conference ticket

Posted: 27/02/2023

Snap up an early-bird RECOUP Conference ticket

Plastics resource efficiency and recycling charity, RECOUP, has opened registrations for its not-to-be missed annual conference, to be held on Thursday 28 September.

The day-long Plastics Resource and Recycling Conference open to all, is once again being held at Kingsgate Conference Centre, Peterborough.  Attendance remains FREE to members, with early-bird discounts available to non-members for a limited time only.  There is also the opportunity to exhibit at the venue, but places are restricted so RECOUP urges early booking.

The plastics resource and recycling value chain event of the year normally sees around 500 delegates in attendance and draws together stakeholders, NGOs, Local and National Government bodies and organisations from across the plastics and wider sustainability value chain, to network and share best practice.

This year REOUP is hosting an Awards & Pre-Conference Networking Dinner for all delegates on the evening of Wednesday 27 September at the Holiday Inn, Peterborough, to network and celebrate with colleagues, ahead of the conference.

RECOUP is delighted to announce Christopher Smith, Resource Efficiency Leader at Comply Direct Ltd, as the winner of a free conference ticket, offered as part of a recent RECOUP membership survey.

Rebecca Davis, Membership & Events Manager at RECOUP commented: “Congratulations to Christopher who completed our membership survey, along with many other existing and potential RECOUP members.  We really appreciate your feedback and look forward to seeing you at the conference”.

Conference sponsorship packages are available and offer organisations an invaluable opportunity to showcase their products and services in front of the most influential people in the plastics resource and recycling value chain.

For more information about sponsorship packages, contact RECOUP Events and Membership Manager, Rebecca Davis,

To book your place at the RECOUP Plastics Resource and Recycling Conference 2023, please visit the RECOUP website,

The Grocer – Feedback letter from the FPF FlexCollect team

Posted: 16/02/2023

The Grocer – Feedback letter from the FPF FlexCollect team

“The Grocer recently published an article on FPF FlexCollect which appears to imply that the UK’s largest flexible plastic household collection and recycling pilot has run into difficulty.

In reality, we have three successful pilots underway, and these are already yielding important insights that we will share in due course. The very nature of the pilots means they are intended to identify and overcome challenges to smooth the way for the widespread rollout of household collections of flexible plastics.

The project covers all the operational costs of the trials, which is of huge support for participating local authorities who can essentially get ready for the rollout of kerbside collection for flexible plastics before the 2027 deadline set by the Government.

However, our discussions with interested local authorities have underlined that, although the project covers all the operational costs, greater certainty over longer-term funding streams for collecting new materials is essential.

Equally, our engagement with material recycling facilities has highlighted the potential complexity of handling the material and associated costs, making the case for policy certainty to support investment in updating our current infrastructure and developing new facilities all the more important.

With three more pilots in the pipeline, we’re now recruiting authorities for the remaining three slots. In view of the emerging results from our early pilots and the fantastic engagement from participating households, we’re confident more authorities will be keen to get involved.

The FlexCollect Team

RECOUP Launch Inaugural ‘Reusability by Design’ Guidance

Posted: 02/02/2023

RECOUP Launch Inaugural ‘Reusability by Design’ Guidance

Plastics resource efficiency and recycling charity, RECOUP, is delighted to launch the inaugural edition of ‘Reusability by Design’ guidance, to assist stakeholders with the design of reusable plastic packaging that meets the needs of the value chain from packaging manufacturers, packer/fillers, brands, retailers, consumers, service providers through to waste management companies.

The guidance has been produced as a workstream of the UKRI funded TRACE (Technology-enabled Reusable Assets for a Circular Economy) project, led by Pragmatic, with RECOUP, The University of Sheffield, Topolytics, AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) and Ken Mills Engineering as partners. Project TRACE aims to address some of the challenges that currently prevent large-scale reuse, such as consumer perception of reusable packaging, traceability of packaging and the lack of design guidance available.

Based on research, surveys, workshops and interviews, the guidance highlights the need for collaboration alongside consideration of the whole value chain needs when designing reusable packaging. The main challenges identified to the adoption of reusable packaging on a large scale to be addressed by design were, ensuring customer uptake, implementation cost and traceability.

The guidance details a number of technical characteristics that must be considered at the design stage of reusable packaging, including material choice and durability, size and shape of the packaging, visibility of the product, closure type, tamper evidence requirements and decoration. However, choices on these must be made in collaboration with an acknowledgement of consumer needs, food safety, washing and cleaning requirements and impact on transportation. The design implications on end-of-life scenarios for the packaging, when it leaks or leaves the reuse system must also be taken into consideration.  In addition, the guidance includes a comprehensive review of how tracking technologies have been used within reuse systems, for food and drink produced by The University of Sheffield.

Katherine Fleet, Head of Sustainability and Circularity at RECOUP commented ‘Reuse represents a key element of achieving the circular economy for packaging and while we have seen the implementation of a number of small-scale trials of reuse systems, large-scale implementation has not yet been achieved. It is hoped that these guidelines, which reflect stakeholder’s views, along with the wider findings of project TRACE, will assist with progress towards a world where reuse is more commonplace for packaging.”

RECOUP would like to thank everyone who contributed to the report, whether this was participation in the survey, workshops, interviews or supplying packaging samples for testing.

The ‘Reusability by Design’ guidance is available to download.

To learn more about the guidance on design requirements for reusable plastic packaging, join our webinar on 2nd March 2023.

UK’s largest flexible plastic household collection and recycling pilot gains momentum

Posted: 01/02/2023

UK’s largest flexible plastic household collection and recycling pilot gains momentum

Over 6,500 homes in Maldon, Essex to be part of FPF FlexCollect flexible plastics collection pilot from January 2023.

Maldon District Council is the third local authority to participate in the FPF FlexCollect project to pilot the collection of ‘flexible’ plastics such as plastic bags, confectionery wrappers, foil-lined packaging, plastic film and more from approximately 6,500 households, as part of normal fortnightly recycling collections.

The new service began in January 2023 in selected areas and covers a variety of family sizes and housing types. Those households selected to take part have received information on how to use the new plastic bags and wrapping collection service together with special collection bags before the new service begins.

This is the first year of a three-year trial which, will eventually roll out to all households across the district by the end of 2024.

Flexible plastics are a considerable challenge as they represented 22% of all UK consumer plastic packaging in 2020 but only 8% were recycled from kerbside collections. Supermarket front-of-store collection points recycle plastic bags and wrapping. This trial will help to change that by helping to inform the government and industry on how flexible plastics should be added to existing household recycling collection services ahead of the introduction of consistent collections for all households in England in 2027.

The FPF FlexCollect project was launched in May 2022 and is the most extensive pilot for household collection and recycling of plastic bags and wrapping packaging to be undertaken in the UK. Maldon District Council joins the first two pilots in Cheltenham and South Gloucestershire which started in October 2022. They will be part of nine pilots across England that will help to make recycling plastic bags and wrapping more convenient for everyone, which will increase the amount of packaging that the UK recycles.

The £3m FlexCollect project is co-managed by a consortium comprising the project co-funders, Ecosurety, RECOUP, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK and WRAP. It is funded by a number of organisations, such as the Flexible Plastic Fund composed of a number of UK’s leading manufacturers: Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever. Partners of the Fund now also include Abel & Cole, Ella’s Kitchen, The Collective, Kiddylicious, Koninklijke Douwe Egberts, KP Snacks, McCain Foods, Tilda, United Biscuits, Vitaflo, Yeo Valley Farms, Lotus Bakeries, Natural Balance Foods, Ocado Retail and WARP Snacks.  Also supporting the project are Defra, UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (SSPP) and Zero Waste Scotland.

Gareth Morton, Flexible Plastic Fund spokesperson and Discovery Manager at Ecosurety, said: “We are really pleased to usher in the new year with Maldon District Council’s participation in the FPF FlexCollect project.

“It is really exciting and encouraging to have local authorities coming on board and see the project momentum building. Ultimately, this project will benefit communities right across England.

Councillor Penny Channer, Leader of Maldon District Council, said: “I am extremely pleased that our District has been chosen to be part of this trial, and the only authority in Essex to be chosen so far. This trial is another step towards making the District more environmentally sustainable and reducing our carbon footprint through the reduction of plastics going to landfill.

“While this is only a trial at the moment, I look forward to seeing this scheme rolled out to all residents by the end of 2024. I would like to thank officers in our Waste Services team at Maldon District Council, our waste collection contractor, SUEZ UK, and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), for their work in bringing this exciting scheme to the Maldon District.”

Thomas Merry, Technical Development Manager for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK and FPF Project Director, said: ‘As a pilot, the project needs to consider how flexible plastics can be incorporated into different collection systems, in different areas. Recruiting Maldon for the project allows us to expand the pilot into the south east and twin-stream recycling collections, at the same time as giving participating residents the opportunity to recycle more of their waste.’For more information visit