Archive for October, 2023

RECOUP and PECT Announce the Launch of the PECT Bring it Back Toolkit to Tackle Single-Use Packaging Waste

Posted: 26/10/2023

RECOUP and PECT Announce the Launch of the PECT Bring it Back Toolkit to Tackle Single-Use Packaging Waste

In a positive step towards a more sustainable future, PECT, an environment charity based in Peterborough, and RECOUP are excited to introduce the PECT Bring it Back Toolkit. The new toolkit is designed for businesses and communities to help address the growing problem of single-use packaging.

Single-use packaging is known for its convenience; however, every year, billions of these cups and other packaging items end up polluting our green spaces, rivers, and seas. Recognising the urgency of this issue, the toolkit encourages and helps set up returnable packaging schemes, tackling the pollution at its source.

Whether you run a local coffee shop, organise community events, manage the office canteen, or just care about the environment, this toolkit equips you with practical knowledge and tools to make a real impact.

Key features of the PECT Bring it Back Toolkit include:

  • Clear, easy-to-follow instructions for setting up and managing a reusable packaging scheme.
  • Tips to effectively communicating your new scheme/s to your audience.
  • The business case for understanding how your efforts can reduce waste and save money.
  • Case studies showcasing the benefits of reusable packaging schemes, from waste reduction to customer loyalty.


The toolkit was developed following a range of behaviour change pilots which tested the barriers and enablers to successfully launching a reusable packaging scheme in different locations (including schools, community hubs, offices, and café networks).

“We are excited to launch our PECT Bring it Back toolkit, based on the successful learnings of our pilot schemes, which have been run at various locations across the region for the last year,” says Stuart Dawks, CEO at PECT, “It’s a fantastic starting point for any organisation looking to start a reusable packaging scheme.”

This initiative is one of six projects around the UK funded by Hubbub and Starbucks’ Bring It Back Fund, which was set up to fund innovative solutions and systems for sustainable packaging in the food and drink industry.

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-founder of Hubbub: “Hubbub set up the Bring It Back Fund with Starbucks to support innovation in reuse. We are pleased the learnings PECT has acquired through their trials are now going to benefit other organisations and businesses. We hope many will be inspired to set up their own reuse schemes to tackle single-use packaging”.

Ready to make a difference? We invite communities and businesses across the UK to join us in reducing waste. Download the PECT Bring it Back Toolkit on our project website and be part of the solution.

RECOUP Plastics Resource and Recycling Conference – Another Successful Year!

Posted: 16/10/2023

RECOUP Plastics Resource and Recycling Conference – Another Successful Year!

Plastics resource efficiency and recycling charity, RECOUP, again proves its position as the number one conference in the sector with another outstanding day of debate and presentations focused on the theme of sustainability and rising importance of the circular economy.


Sponsored by, Berry bpi, Tomra, Schoeller Allibert Services, Plastics Europe, Beyondly, BPF, IOM3 and Circular&co. The event was held at KingsGate Conference Centre in Peterborough for the 10th year running with around 400 people from across various educational institutions, waste and recycling companies, packaging producers, environmental consultants, and government bodies in attendance. This year RECOUP tried to avoid single use plastic where possible, putting Circular & Co’s returnable cup scheme in place as a much more ecofriendly solution to single use cups. The system was very well received on the day, with lots of positive comments being made.


Tom Heap, of ‘Costing the Earth’ and BBC’s ‘Countryfile’ directed the days debates, igniting dialogues about the right material, right place, and the right approach in plastics recycling, as well as exploring innovations in the industry.


The panel debated how the whole value chain should work together to make the process more efficient with Dr Geoff Mackay, UK Country Head, Plastics Europe, raising the point that “we only have one world. We need to think about the materials we use and how we use them”. Yet the abundance of constantly changing legislation, company strategy, environmental impact, and consumer views that we all have to navigate makes this task a lot more complicated than it perhaps needs to be. As commented by Tim Duret, Director of Sustainable Technology, Veolia, “There has been so much time spent on the how, and we still don’t have the what”.


Items such as vapes and coffee pods were discussed by the panel as an example for such an issue, with the general consensus being that we should all work together to ensure that before products are placed on the market, a stream is in place for consumers to correctly recycle those products when they come to the end of their life.


The panel also debated how environmentally educated we are, referring to how conscious we are when buying goods. We can see that the public is undoubtedly much more conscious of environmental issues and in favour of change. However, Robert Thompson, Packaging Manager, The Co-op, commented that “a family with little money and 5 kids to feed are less likely to be environmentally conscious”, reiterating the need to make reuse, recovery and recycling easy and accessible.


For another year running attention then turned to the lack of consistency in kerbside plastics collections and communications as well as UK recycling capacity, calling for a more simple process that the public and the whole value chain will be engaged with and participate in. Ultimately, the use of plastics needs to be done in the right way, with appropriate end of life solutions in place before a product is available on the market.


For more information about RECOUP, the work they do and how to join please contact Next years’ conference is on Thursday 26th September 2024.

Upcoming Autumn Webinars

Posted: 04/10/2023

Upcoming Autumn Webinars

Join our upcoming webinars:


RECOUP 2023 UK Household Plastic Packaging Collection Survey

06 December 2023 at 10:00am.

Bring It Back Making -Reusables a Reality

13 December 2023 at 10:00am


RECOUP Announces 2023 Awards Winners

Posted: 03/10/2023

RECOUP Announces 2023 Awards Winners

Following the success of the inaugural RECOUP awards in 2022, the awards returned bigger and better this year as part of the Pre-Conference Networking Dinner the evening before the highly anticipated RECOUP Plastics Resource and Recycling Conference. Yet again the awards generated a lot of interest from across the plastics resources and recycling value chain with strong entries received for all categories.

Presented by Tom Heap, and RECOUP Chairman, Jim Armstrong, the first winner announced was for the ‘Best Development or Innovation to enhance plastic products for recyclability or re-use‘ award which was presented to Apetito & Wiltshire Farm Foods Ltd for their ‘boomerang’ initiative. Apetito have created a sustainable closed-loop recycling system for ready meal trays. Working with Wiltshire Farm Foods, plastic trays are collected from customers each week, leaving them with nothing but the film lid. 100% of the trays collected will then be made into brand new trays, all here in the UK.

The winner of the second award for ‘Recycled Plastic Product of the Year’ was presented to SEAQUAL INITIATIVE for their high quality 100% post-consumer recycled polyester yarn, SEAQUAL® YARN. Useful for a multitude of applications SEAQUAL® YARN is a sustainable fabric containing approximately 10% SEAQUAL® MARINE PLASTIC (from plastic marine litter), with the remaining 90% being post-consumer PET from land sources.

The third winner announced was for the ‘Best Innovation in Equipment or Technology to Improve the Collection, Sorting, Reprocessing or Re-use of Plastics’ award which was presented to Greyparrot for their AI Waste Recognition System. Greyparrots’ AI Waste Recognition System uses cutting edge AI-based Computer Vision to automate waste composition analysis at scale, providing insights that inform our decision-making on how to optimise our processes helping to increase recycling rates, reduce the cost of manual sampling, enhance product quality, and empower next generation smart systems.

The Chairman’s award, presented by Tom Heap and RECOUP Chairman, Jim Armstrong, was awarded to recognise individuals outside of RECOUP and the Board who have enabled the organisation to fulfil its aims of driving forward plastics recycling and resource management through dedicating their time, knowledge and support. This year two individuals were chosen to be recognised by this award.

The first Chairman’s award was presented to Hannah Clifford, Strategic Development Manager, Biffa. Anne Hitch, Business and Project Development Lead, RECOUP, commented “Hannah was nominated for the award as throughout the last year she aided RECOUP in the drive to move up plastics recycling, aiding the team to bring partners together on a range of projects from citizen communications in the region to MRF trials as well as facilitating team visits. Nothing has been too much trouble.”

Nominated by the Packaging team at RECOUP, the second Chairman’s award went to Jonathan Attwood, Head of Technical, Bright Green. The Packaging team commented “For the past year, Jonathan has provided the RECOUP packaging team with invaluable support. His knowledge and advice have been a great help to the team particularly with some of the more challenging questions. Jonathan is always willing to help no matter how big or small or the request. From site visits and regular communications, the guidance he provides has helped the team expand their knowledge and respond to members. We thank Jonathan for his support and expertise and hope to continue working with him.”


Congratulations to the award winners and thank you to the judges and all the entries for this year’s awards. Don’t miss out on submitting an entry next year, the application process will be announced in due course.