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Plastics recycling in the UK is carried out on two levels – from the home, and from business and industry.
On the household front efforts usually focus on the collection of bottles, ranging from milk bottles (HDPE) to soft drinks bottles (PET). According to plastics recycling body Recoup, 440,401 tonnes of plastic was collected for recycling by councils in 2012.
And, more local authorities are now collecting plastic pots, tubs and trays (PTT) for recycling.
In the industrial and commercial sector, off-cuts are recycled from plastics factories and the manufacturing sector while plastic film used to wrap goods is usually collected, baled and sent for reprocessing.
Plastics recycling in the UK is strongly dependent on the export market, with demand for material coming from the Far East.
In early 2013 the Chinese authorities launched ‘Operation Green Fence’ in a bid to reduce the amount of contaminated waste material being exported into the country. As a result, importers into the region have demanded a higher quality of material for processing.
There has been increased investment in recent years by UK plastic recycling companies such as J&A Young of Leicester, Closed Loop Recycling London, and ECO Plastics in Lincolnshire.
1. Price indicators shown are ex works and £ per tonne and are not guaranteed. They are compiled by letsrecycle.com.
2. PRNs and PERNs: the indicator price show for films and bottles is deemed to include the PRN or PERN value. Prices shown are ex works and £ per tonne.
Prices shown are in £ per tonne.
|Clear and light blue PET||195 - 235||195 - 235||195 - 230||195 - 240||195 - 240||185 - 230|
|Coloured PET||30 - 50||30 - 50||30 - 50||40 - 60||40 - 60||50 - 70|
|HDPE natural||325 - 350||330 - 360||330 - 360||340 - 370||350 - 400||360 - 410|
|HDPE mixed colour||130 - 145||140 - 150||140 - 150||150 - 170||160 - 180||160 - 180|
|Mixed||40 - 100||40 - 100||40 - 100||50 - 110||50 - 115||50 - 120|
|Clear and light blue PET||190 - 235||185 - 225||170 - 210||-||-||-|
|Coloured PET||60 - 70||60 - 70||50 - 60||-||-||-|
|HDPE natural||360 - 410||375 - 420||380 - 430||-||-||-|
|HDPE mixed colour||160 - 180||160 - 180||160 - 180||-||-||-|
|Mixed||55 - 125||60 - 125||65 - 125||-||-||-|