Author Archive

Submit Your Innovations for the RECOUP Awards 2024 & Snap Up an Early-Bird Ticket for The RECOUP Conference!       

News
Posted: 06/03/2024

Submit Your Innovations for the RECOUP Awards 2024 & Snap Up an Early-Bird Ticket for The RECOUP Conference!       

RECOUP is proud to announce that entries are now open for the RECOUP Awards 2024. Recognising outstanding achievements in plastics resource efficiency and recycling, contributing towards a more circular plastics value chain, the awards aim to recognise and celebrate the innovative and inspiring projects and initiatives that have helped to drive the industry forward and lead to a more sustainable future.

The awards are FREE to enter with entries welcome from all relevant organisations and individuals who want to be recognised for their work and initiatives under the following award categories:

  • Best Plastic Product Development for Recyclability or Re-Use
  • Best Innovation in Equipment or Technology
  • Recycled Plastic Product of the Year

To apply for the awards, please visit the RECOUP website https://www.recoup.org/recoup-awards-2024/ and complete the entry form by the 28 June 2024 deadline. If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact RECOUP at enquiry@recoup.org . The winners will be announced at the RECOUP Awards Ceremony and Networking Dinner on Wednesday 25 September, at the Holiday Inn Peterborough – West. Spaces for the dinner are limited with tickets already on sale through the RECOUP website https://www.recoup.org/recoup-awards-2024/ .

The RECOUP Awards Ceremony and Networking Dinner is followed by The RECOUP Conference on Thursday 26 September with sponsors including Berry Global and WRAP. Registrations are now open for the day-long event, once again being held at Kingsgate Conference Centre, Peterborough.  Attracting hundreds of delegates each year The RECOUP Conference draws together stakeholders, NGOs, Local and National Government bodies and organisations from across the plastics and wider sustainability value chain, to network, share best practice, and get the latest updates from the plastics value chain.

Attendance remains FREE to members, with early-bird discounts available to non-members for a limited time only. To book your ticket for The RECOUP Conference please visit the RECOUP website, https://www.recoup.org/news-events/the-recoup-conference-2024/ .

Sponsorship packages are still available for both the awards and conference, offering 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, rebecca.davis@RECOUP.org

Tickets now available for The RECOUP Conference

Events
Posted: 14/02/2024

Tickets now available for The RECOUP Conference

Book your place for The RECOUP Conference at the KingsGate Conference Centre in Peterborough on Thursday 26th September 2024. With keynote speakers, networking opportunities, and exhibition spaces, The RECOUP Conference offers the opportunity to hear about the latest updates from the plastics value chain and build meaningful connections. Non-members can currently take advantage of our early bird rate!

Book Now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-recoup-conference-leading-a-more-circular-plastics-value-chain-tickets-829913432417?aff=oddtdtcreator

 

With the Pre-Conference Dinner on the evening of the 25th September at the Holiday Inn Peterborough West, there will be an extra chance to network with colleagues from the plastics resource and recycling sector. If you want to attend, then get in quick and book a ticket now as places are limited.

Book Now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/recoup-awards-ceremony-networking-dinner-tickets-830112788697?aff=oddtdtcreator

RECOUP publications aim to improve industry knowledge of packaging sorting and recycling processes

News
Posted: 14/02/2024

RECOUP publications aim to improve industry knowledge of packaging sorting and recycling processes

Plastics resource efficiency and recycling charity, RECOUP, have released their latest set of case studies ‘MRF Processes – Understanding Material Sorting’ and ‘Packaging Design Principles – Small Changes for a Big Impact.’

‘MRF Processes – Understanding Material Sorting’ intends to educate readers about how packaging placed in kerbside collections gets detected and sorted by material recovery facilities (MRF), from the entrance hall, right through to the final baled materials. The case study looks at common issues such as the recycling of small items, which can get lost early in the process and end up with the glass recycling fraction, as well as a detailed breakdown of how near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) is used to determine which polymers packaging is made from to capture the packs for recycling.

‘Packaging Design Principles – Small Changes for a Big Impact’ is aimed at individuals new to the packaging industry and covers many design principles to improve the recyclability of plastics packaging at the design stage.  It covers the important components of packaging  for recyclability including the use of additives and barriers, adhesives, labels, and colourants, to help packaging designers make informed decisions.

Richard Cham, Senior Packaging and Recyclability Projects Officer at RECOUP said, ‘We often get asked about the processes that happen at the sorting stage, the MRF case study will assist stakeholders to understand the reality of how packaging is sorted and the implications design can have on the detection of different polymers.’

Paul East, Head of Packaging Recycling and Design at RECOUP said, ‘The sorting process at the MRF is a crucial link in the recycling chain. The Case Study illustrates how following design guidelines such as RECOUP’s Recyclability by Design, increases the likelihood  a pack will get sorted correctly.’

The case studies are accessible on the RECOUP website now for members and will become publicly available in 3 months. RECOUP also offers their members access to their laboratory testing facilities, including materials recovery facility sorting trials, free of charge to help packaging designers and brands to make informed decisions on pack design for recyclability. If you would like to find out more about RECOUP membership, then contact membership@recoup.org

For those seeking more in-depth information about the plastics resource and recycling value chain, registrations for RECOUP’s, not-to-be- missed annual conference, to be held on Thursday 26 September, are now open.

The plastics resource and recycling value chain event of the year sees hundreds of 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.

To book your place at The RECOUP Conference 2024, please visit the RECOUP website, www.recoup.org

County Durham school recycling design competition

News
Posted: 09/02/2024

County Durham school recycling design competition

RECOUP’s Pledge2Recycle Plastics has joined forces with Durham County Council to launch a county-wide plastics recycling communications and education project. This initiative aims to encourage more County Durham residents to recycle and elevate the quality of plastic packaging recycled in the region through household collections.

As part of the project, a school recycling design competition, funded by the British Plastics Federation and local reprocessing firm Marmax Recycled Products, has been launched. The competition aims to continue to build on positive attitudes and behaviours in relation to recycling whilst at the same time finding creative solutions to recycling challenges.

Children and young people are invited to design a way for people to sort and recycle more items in one of a range of settings:

Bathrooms: to increase recycling of plastic items like shampoo and shower gel bottles, which in County Durham can be recycled at home in the blue-lidded bin

Kitchens: to increase recycling of pots, tubs and trays that come with food, which in County Durham can be recycled at home in the blue-lidded bin

Schools: to increase recycling of food and drinks bags & wrappings, which can be recycled at large supermarkets

Sports venues: to increase recycling of food and drink bags & wrappings, which can be recycled at large supermarkets

The winning design will be produced by Marmax Recycled Products and made from pre-formed recycled plastic sheets and planks which can be cut, shaped, drilled, and screwed together. The planks are 9cm wide and 3cm deep. Participants can find out more and submit their entries at https://www.durhamrecycles.co.uk/schools-competition/. The closing date for entries is 23rd February 2024.

All pupils who enter the competition will receive a certificate of participation, whilst winners will receive a book token, goodie bag as well as the opportunity to see their design go into production at the Marmax Recycled Products factory. The winner’s school will also win new outdoor furniture made from recycled plastic, up to a value of £900 for their school playground such as stages, seating, picnic benches, water tables or table tennis table!

Cllr Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “We are pleased to continue working in partnership with RECOUP to encourage and educate more people around recycling. Each year, the average household uses over 1,000 items – from plastics to cans – but less than half of this is recycled. It’s important we recycle as much as we can because, for every item recycled, we reduce the need to use raw materials, helping save energy and resources.

“Getting our schools involved in this project is also key as it enables us to encourage children to think creatively about how we can recycle more and helps them set environmentally positive habits.”

A spokesperson for Marmax Recycled Products said

“As we manufacture all our outdoor furniture from recycled plastic, and many schools in the region have our products on site, it’s really important for us to support projects like this. If our children have recycling at the forefront of their minds, and can see first hand the positive outcome of recycling, then a sustainable future for our region and beyond is more likely. I look forward to being involved in the judging and seeing what they come up with!”

A spokesperson for the British Plastics Federation said:

“The British Plastics Federation is very pleased to be involved in this competition. Children and young people are really motivated when it comes to protecting the environment and have great, fresh ideas. We look forward to seeing their designs.”

 

The project is supported by Durham County Council, The British Plastics Federation, Biffa, and Marmax Recycled Products.

Sponsor the RECOUP Awards and Conference

Events
Posted: 23/01/2024

Sponsor the RECOUP Awards and Conference

The annual RECOUP Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in plastics resource efficiency and recycling, and organisations leading a more circular plastics value chain. If you are interested in sponsoring our Awards & Pre Dinner Networking Event or our Plastics Resource & Recycling Conference, our new sponsorship packages for 2024 are now available.

To find out more please contact Rebecca Davis.

Members Visit to Greiner Packaging

Events
Posted: 09/01/2024

Members Visit to Greiner Packaging

March 13, 10:00 – 14:00

Looking for an insiders perspective on sustainable plastic packaging manufacturing? Join us for an exclusive member visit at Greiners Northern Ireland facility on the 13th March, where we will be taking a look at their manufacturing process including Efsa approved Rpet Decontamination & Extrusion.

This visit is only open to non-competitors of Greiner please do not book any flights or accommodation until you have received confirmation from RECOUP of your confirmed spot.

Transport and accommodation for this visit are not included.

Find out more

RECOUP Awards

Events
Posted: 09/01/2024

RECOUP Awards

September 25 

The RECOUP Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in plastics resource efficiency and recycling and organisations leading a more circular plastics value chain.

Find out more

The RECOUP Conference | Leading a More Circular Plastics Value Chain

Events
Posted: 09/01/2024

The RECOUP Conference | Leading a More Circular Plastics Value Chain

September 26 

The annual RECOUP Conference is the not-to-be-missed event within the plastics recycling value chain.

Find out more

Plastic Packaging Use and Recycling Collection Rates Drop for the First Time

News
Posted: 12/12/2023

Plastic Packaging Use and Recycling Collection Rates Drop for the First Time

Plastic resource efficiency and recycling charity, RECOUP, has launched its annual UK Household Plastic Packaging Collection Survey, which estimates that year-on-year plastic packaging use and plastic packaging collection quantities have dropped for the first time.

It was estimated that there was reduction of around 70,000 tonnes in the quantity of household plastic packaging placed on the market in the UK, with quantities collected by local authorities at the kerbside also reducing by nearly 30,000 tonnes. Both have reduced by around 5%. There has also been a plateau in the development of kerbside provision, as all UK local authorities have collected plastic bottles for recycling at the kerbside since 2019, but only 88% collect plastic pots, tubs, and trays, the same as in 2021, and plastic films and flexibles dropping from 13% to 12%, the sixth year in a row this has decreased.

This amounts to a collection rate of 42% for all household plastic packaging – 63% for plastic bottles, 39% for plastic pots, tubs, and trays, and 7% for plastic films and flexibles. The UK’s overall recycling rate for plastic packaging from household and commercial sources is 52%.

With Simpler Recycling announced in October, and dates communicated with regards to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) across the UK, local authorities can now start to plan how they can tackle the changes needed, although payments to enable this from the new packaging Extended Producer Responsibility are yet to be fully established.

Policy alone may not unpick some of the complexities local authorities have with their collection contracts and infrastructure, but to avoid a further slide or stagnation in household plastic collections, efforts need to be made sooner rather than later, particularly with recycling targets due to increase.

This year’s Survey found that whilst local authorities are making significant efforts to communicate recycling specification to citizens, more resource and focus is needed on plastic packaging citizen communications and behaviour change programmes.

RECOUP is also launching its UK Citizen Plastics Recycling Behaviours Insights Survey 2023 which indicates an annual drop of 7% nationally of citizens claiming to recycle plastics drinks bottles every time, to 88%. Despite the fact that citizens tend to overclaim actual behaviours this reflects a worrying trend. However, where Pledge2Recycle Plastics has been partnering with Durham County Council to deliver citizen and community engagement on plastics recycling, individuals declaring to recycle drinks bottles every time rose by 2%, to 97%.

Anne Hitch, Business and Project Development Lead at RECOUP, commented:

“Whilst we continue to wait for supporting legislation, citizens remain uncertain about what to recycle in terms of plastics and how. 32% of all respondents to the Insights Survey declared that when they do not recycle an item it is because they are confused about if it is recyclable.

“If we are to gain ground in terms of kerbside tonnages and quality of plastics, it is crucial that investment in plastics recycling communications is given priority”.

57% of local authorities conduct ongoing waste and recycling communication campaigns, and a further 23% in the last 12 months. Significant inconsistency remains in messaging, including around asking for lids to be on or off bottles, packaging to be empty, rinsed, washed, flattened, or squashed.

The need for good communications is backed up by a small increase in reject rates, which were up to 37% for one local authority, and an average of 14% across all respondents.

Tom McBeth, Policy & Infrastructure Manager at RECOUP, commented:

“This year’s Survey has shown the reduction in packaging placed on the market.

“Whilst the collected material also dropped, in the context of the amount of material used, it shows a picture of stagnation in collection levels with service provision also remaining similar to the 2022 Survey.

“With the news of Simpler Recycling beginning to come into force in England from 2025, and some level of certainty in dates for material collection requirements, DRS and EPR, it is important that local authorities are now able to understand the funding they will have to drive the collection of more plastic packaging from consumers”.

The RECOUP UK Household Plastic Packaging Collection Survey 2023 is available for RECOUP members to download from its website.

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

News
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.

www.bringitback.org.uk