Archive for March, 2023

RECOUP launches Plastics Recycling Annual Awards

Posted: 30/03/2023

RECOUP launches Plastics Recycling Annual Awards

Plastics resource efficiency and recycling charity, RECOUP launches the Plastics Recycling Annual Awards 2023 to recognise and celebrate excellence in plastics resource efficiency and recycling, to champion leading a more circular plastics value chain.

Following the success of its inaugural awards, RECOUP is making this year bigger and better, by extending the award categories and holding the awards ceremony as part of its pre-conference networking dinner on Wednesday 27 September.

Rebecca Davis, Membership & Events Manager, at RECOUP comments:
“ We are excited to be able to launch a new equipment and technology focussed award category this year, alongside the previous categories which showcase and reward developments and innovations that are raising awareness of not only plastics recyclability but also reuse potential”.

The awards are FREE to enter and RECOUP invites entries from anyone involved in the plastics resources and recycling value chain who want to be recognised for their work and initiatives under the following award categories:

  • Best Development or Innovation to Enhance Plastic Products for Recyclability or Re-Use
  • Recycled Plastic Product of the Year
  • Best Innovation in Equipment or Technology to Improve the Collection, Sorting, Reprocessing or Re-use of Plastics

Tom Heap of ‘Costing the Earth’ and BBC’s ‘Countryfile’ will join RECOUP Chairman, Jim Armstrong to announce the winners and celebrate at the RECOUP Awards and Pre-Conference Networking Dinner on Wednesday 27 September.

The closing date for award entries is 14 July 2023. Entry is via the RECOUP Awards page.

Award sponsorship packages are still available, please contact for more information.

The RECOUP Annual Conference takes place on Thursday 28 SeptemberConference tickets can be booked via the RECOUP website.

For more information, please contact

The Toy Story: Recyclability and Beyond!

Posted: 23/03/2023

The Toy Story: Recyclability and Beyond!

Plastics resource efficiency and recycling charity, RECOUP, has completed research into the recycling of hard plastic toys in the UK and highlights some of the key issues with end uses of toys in a new report “Researching the Recyclability of Plastic Toys”.

The report demonstrates the challenges of recycling toys that are no longer used or broken. RECOUP has investigated the current infrastructure available within the UK for collecting and recycling toys and analysed a selection of toy samples to determine their recyclability.

The analysis involved breaking down the components of each toy to determine the materials used and assessing the key challenges of their recyclability, including kerbside recycling in the UK.  The report concluded that many toys contain electronic parts, including batteries, which makes them unsuitable for mechanical recycling.

Richard Cham, Senior Packaging Projects Officer comments:

“Toys are frequently produced of multiple polymer types that are difficult to separate. Not to mention the dangers of electrical components and batteries, which are responsible for damages equalling £100 million annually from electrical fires in waste management sites in the UK.”

The report looks at the key challenges faced by the toy and recycling industries and how to address these with examples of current solutions used in alternate markets.  Toy take-back schemes such as home returns or front-of-store collections are examined, along with the potential pitfalls of a kerbside collection scheme.

Brands and retailers are designing for recyclability in a push to reduce waste and plastic pollution and RECOUP has released its ‘Recyclability by Design’ guidance to help food and drink brands achieve recyclability for their plastic packaging by promoting best practice.

Kate Bedford,  Packaging Project Manager comments:

“There are very few guidelines available for the toy industry, meaning that designing for recyclability is open to interpretation with nobody really knowing if they are heading in the right direction.”

RECOUP aims to help toy manufacturers and designers to make better choices about materials and look towards the end-of-life journey of their products, by taking an in-depth look at how the materials used can be reprocessed and recycled into new products.

To learn more about the Recyclability of Plastic Toys, RECOUP is holding a 30-minute webinar to summarise its key findings and welcomes all toy manufacturers, retailers, local authorities and waste management companies to join the FREE webinar on Tuesday 18th April at 10:30am.

Researching the Recyclability of Plastic Toys report is currently available only to RECOUP members.  For non-members, a short summary of the report has been produced. 

The Recyclability by Design report is freely available to all. 

RECOUP expands its added-value services

Posted: 07/03/2023

RECOUP expands its added-value services

Plastics resource efficiency and recycling charity, RECOUP, expands its service provisions by introducing a new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA ) service and its own state-of-the-art laboratory to complement its recognised RecyClass certification service and facilities.

The addition of LCA to RECOUP’s repertoire will enable the organisation to assess the environmental impact of products, goods, and services across their life cycle from raw material extraction through to end-of-life.

RECOUP believe that the use of LCA can assist with informing evidence-based decisions on product development and design, support supply chain and procurement decisions, track performance over time of packaging changes, improve overall environmental outcomes in line with strategy and policy, and challenge misinformation and greenwash.

Katherine Fleet, Head of Sustainability & Circularity comments:  “ RECOUP has been working on building LCA capability to assist members and the wider industry to better inform decision making related to product design in order that decisions are based on environmentally sound evidence rather than emotion”.

RECOUP currently test members’ plastic packaging samples for sortability at a Materials Recovery Facility, free of charge to members as a benefit of membership. The addition of the in-house laboratory has enabled RECOUP to further enhance its testing of plastics samples and material identification.

In particular, the RECOUP laboratory uses near-infrared (NIR) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to identify the constituent components of a pack and help determine recyclability.

Richard Cham, Packaging Projects Officer comments: “ I am excited about our future plans for the laboratory, in particular the introduction of FTIR microscopy which will enable the investigation of smaller, hard to see imperfections and contaminants, and give RECOUP the ability to analyse and identify microplastics from separated samples.”

Alongside the laboratory, RECOUP is also a UK provider for RecyClass certification which assesses and evaluates plastic packaging in terms of its recyclability.

Kate Bedford, Packaging Projects Manager at RECOUP comments: “RecyClass assesses the recyclability of plastic packaging, with certification for brand owners and compatibility for packaging manufacturers. RECOUP work as auditors for RecyClass in the UK; offering both members and non-members the opportunity to gain the certification.”

If you are interested in learning more about RecyClass certification email, for LCA email or lab enquiries, email