RECOUP Plastics Recycling and Resources Conference 2019

Over 500 delegates attended the RECOUP Annual Plastics Recycling Conference this year to debate the use of plastics within the agricultural and construction industries, as well as consumer perceptions and technological advances in plastic packaging sorting and recycling.

Tom Heap, TV Presenter and host of BBC Radio 4 ‘Costing the Earth’, returning to Chair the morning session, of the conference, in welcoming the delegates to Peterborough commented “I am delighted to be invited back to the RECOUP conference again. There is a lot of public fervour about plastic. But is the public caring enough? Are they reacting and changing behaviours? Is their concern really carrying over into action? Or perhaps ‘plastiphobia’ is actually counterproductive. Is it really causing some perverse results?”

Stuart Foster, CEO, of RECOUP, gave a powerful opening recognising that “This has been an exceptional year for plastics, resource and waste management. The ongoing challenges and questions that face us all are many, this is matched by the fundamental shift in attitude towards improved long-term use of plastic resources and the development of circular economy models.” 

He called on both food and non-food retailers to donate 1p per bag from carrier bag levy funds for RECOUP to deliver the consumer campaigns on plastics recycling through the pledge2recycle plastics initiative.

RECOUP announced at the industry-leading event that Adam Frost, the award-winning garden designer and tv presenter is a new RECOUP patron alongside David Bellamy OBE.

Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth reminded that “Doing plastics better IS reducing plastic impacts. We need to rethink how we use plastic, reduce the use, reuse it and then recycle it.”

A cross-industry panel of representatives from the Green Alliance, Danone, Viridor, Ecosurety, Waste Aid and the West London Waste Authority called for consistency, backed by scientific evidence and research. This then needs to be backed up with a clear communication and engagement programme to restore the trust and bring transparency to consumers. RECOUP have already done a lot of work on citizen engagement and wholly endorse this view.  

  “We have to fix plastic waste across the whole systems and that involves the entire value chain, including citizens if we are to regain public trust” - Kate Geraghty, Dow Europe GmbH  

This Peterborough Conference is a key national event within the plastics recycling industry and provides a platform where waste collectors, Local Authorities, plastics reprocessors, packaging manufacturer, trade bodies, brand owners and retailers can network, discuss issues and work on collaborative solutions to plastics packaging issues.  The afternoon saw four breakout sessions, with delegates able to access a session to reflect their industry sector.








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