Plastic recycling is a myth that needs to be debunked.
We can’t assume that all of the plastic that we put in our recycling bins will be properly reused. Though plastic packaging may be collected kerbside by your local council, that doesn’t mean it will be recycled and repurposed.
Each local council contracts 3rd party waste companies to handle waste management. These waste companies then sort waste. Plastic is sold onto plastic brokers for amounts varying from £0-250 per tonne.
The sold plastic is then either recycled in the UK (WWF reported that in 2018 only 29% of single use plastic was recycled) or exported to countries such as Malaysia or Turkey.
So does the plastic get recycled in Turkey?
Turkey has a maximum recycling capacity of 850,000 tonnes yet import over 600,000 tonnes from other EU countries. More often then not, exported plastics from the UK are not recycled but instead dumped in landfill.
Once the plastics leave the UK, the government accounts for these as being ‘treated’. The UK government reports that 91% of single use plastics have been filed this way.
What can you do to help?
Reduce your plastic use and lobby big producers to rethink their packaging. Even ‘green’ brands rely on plastic packaging to transport their goods.
Use your spending power to pick those brands that use alternative packaging.
We do not use any plastic in our sustainable cleaning boxes, not even recycled ones.