Plymouth City Council and Viridor have teamed up to show residents how putting the “right stuff in the right bin” can ensure more plastics are recycled, reprocessed and reused.
In a behind-the-scenes day of filming at the Chelson Meadow Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), the council and Viridor captured the journey of plastic; demonstrating how it can be reprocessed and reused efficiently when residents place their waste items in the correct bins.
The video showed waste travelling through the recycling plant and being baled before continuing its journey to Viridor’s Skelmersdale plant, where it is made into flakes or pellets and re-used in the manufacturing process as an “alternative” to virgin plastic.
Viridor also used the opportunity to remind residents that materials such as needles, batteries and nappies, hamper the recycling process and are a “common issue” for the recycling sector.
According to Viridor’s 2018 Recycling Index, 4 in 10 members of the general public believe that their recyclable and non-recyclable waste end up at the same destination. Meanwhile, 75% of UK respondents understand the term “Right Stuff Right Bin” and 78% of people surveyed, have urged for “more transparency” over what happens to their waste.
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and the Environment for Plymouth City Council, explained that many residents regularly ask what happens to their plastics, following collection.
She said: “What happens to recyclable plastic once it has gone into the green recycling bin is one of our most frequently asked questions, so the video is the ideal way to answer this, by showing our residents the journey of their plastic.”
Ms Dann continued: “The MRF recycles around 3,000 tonnes of plastic every year. It is important that everyone knows this, and also know that their individual efforts all help in the fight to tackle plastic pollution.”
Similarly, Aaron Reed, Recycling Officer at Plymouth City Council, who features in the video, explained that educating local residents is one of his team’s main priorities. He elaborated: “Part of our role is to go out and speak to local residents about what they can and can’t recycle, so the video is a great way of helping a lot more people understand more about recycling, and also share it with their friends and family.”
Expanding on Mr Reed’s statement, Viridor’s Andy Tapp, Lead Unit Manager (South West & West Sussex), said: “It’s important for Plymouth residents to see the processes at Chelson Meadow MRF so they can appreciate how their important work in separating their recycling at home helps us to ensure plastic is recycled and reprocessed, going on to live another life.”
He added: “We see waste as a resource and not rubbish and we hope the video will help residents understand how the process works and how recycling efforts are boosted when we all play our part. We want them to feel confident that their efforts really do make a difference.”
Behind the Scenes at the MRF – YouTube Video