BPF backs Flexible Plastic Fund

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has welcomed the release of the £1m Flexible Plastic Fund, which was announced yesterday (27 May).

The BPF will be one of the organisations involved in the scheme to improve the recyclability of flexible plastic.

Around 6% of plastics bags and wrapping are currently recycled

Led by compliance scheme Ecosurety in partnership with environmental charity Hubbub, the Flexible Plastic Fund will work to make the hard-to-recycle material more valuable to recycle by giving it a “stable value”.

The fund will set a minimum price of £100 per tonne of recycled product, which will “incentivise recyclers to process the material”.

‘First of its kind’

A statement from the BPF released yesterday said: “The British Plastics Federation is proud to support the release of the Flexible Plastic Fund, a first-if-its kind collaboration between major brands, retailers, recyclers, a producer responsibility compliance scheme and an environmental charity.

“The £1m fund is intended to improve the recycling of flexible plastic packaging (bags, wrappers and films), establish a stable value for the material and increase the availability of recycled plastic.”

An infographic explaining how the system will work (click to enlarge)

Fund

With the price set, Ecosurety said this should “motivate investment” in infrastructure and jobs to make flexible plastic recycling a “financially sustainable system” in the UK.

The fund will work in collaboration with a series of retailers, such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, which have supported the initiative by rolling out flexible plastic collection points in selected stores. This will make the recycling of the material “increasingly accessible” to consumers.

Wrap

The initiative follows a string of actions taken by the sector to tackle the hard-to-recycle material.

Last month, resources charity WRAP urged retailers and organisations to do more to recycle plastic bags and film (see letsrecycle.com story).

The charity launched guidance to help retailers introduce consistent collections for flexible plastic packaging to help divert more from landfill or incineration.

With just 16% of UK local authorities currently offering household collection of flexible plastics, the amounts of this material collected for recycling are low.

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