Huntingdonshire has created the UK’s first local circular economy for plastic – whereby discarded plastics are collected, cleaned, reprocessed and reused all within the region.
The initiative is being led by Huntingdonshire District Council in collaboration with a local plastics packaging manufacturer, Charpak Ltd.
Under the scheme, packaging is removed from bins in the street, cleaned and processed and then recycled back into plastic to be reused by manufacturers and bought by consumers.
The circular initiative has helped to reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill by more than 55%.
A spokesperson for Huntingdonshire District Council said: “Our residents are already great recyclers diverting more than 55% of waste from landfill. We need more plastics recycled and less going to landfill, so the next step is to improve the quality of materials that are collected for recycling.
“This can be done by ensuring no food is left in any plastic container, simply give the containers a wash, and place your recyclables into your bin loose. As for plastic bottles, give them a rinse, then squash and replace the lid before placing into the blue bin for recycling.”
The initiative has also involved refuse firm Amey, which sorts the recycling, and Jayplas – which cleans and reprocesses the plastic ready to be reused in new packaging by Charpak.
The Huntingdonshire-based project is expected to provide a framework that can be easily replicated across the UK, reducing the carbon footprint of recycling as every part of the process is carried out locally.
Image Credit: Huntingdonshire District Council
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com