Every home and business in the UK could be set to add another recycling bin to their collection as recycling costs skyrocket.
Research by the Uks waste management agency, BusinessWaste.co.uk, shows that the cost of sorting ‘dry mixed recycling’ (DMR) materials in the UK is rising, meaning households will see yet another bin added to their collection – and costing businesses thousands of pounds in waste sorting.
DMR, which consists of paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, drinks cans and glass bottles, is generally separated at specially-designed plants before being recycled. Previously, the cost of this type of recycling was 20% – 50% lower than general waste collection – but the low quality of the plastics used in the UK have caused a hike in prices.
China, previously the world’s biggest importer of household recyclables and just about all of the UKs plastic, introduced restrictions in January which mean that they will no longer accept over twenty kinds of recyclables by the end of 2018, including certain types of plastic drinks bottles and all mixed paper.
This means these materials may have nowhere to go – (other than land fill) as this will cause the price of recycling them to soar. This could mean a knock-on effect for households and businesses, as recycling services are cut back to accommodate the lack of demand from the Chinese market.
Many local councils and waste management companies are already considering downgrading their DMR services to include paper and cardboard only – which are much easier to recycle – and could mean the environmental costs of plastics become much more sinister.
The extra household waste bin designed for specific plastics has been suggested to help reduce the processing time for plastic recycling as sorting the various types of plastics can be complex for recycling plants. Due to this, many of the plastics in the average weekly shop – from sandwich packets to ready meal containers – are ending up in landfill.
BusinessWaste.co.uk is a leading expert in recycling and waste disposal for businesses of all kinds – and they are on a mission to reduce plastic waste.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of BusinessWaste.co.uk, noted:
“The environmental impact of plastics are obvious – just this week, a whale has died in Thailand despite efforts to save it, and was found to have 80 plastic bags in its stomach. We can’t allow this to continue – the damage we are causing to wildlife and the environment is unacceptable. An extra bin might be a stop-gap for now, but there needs to be a longer term way to tackle recycling in the UK.”
Not only are the costs to wildlife and the environment high, but the costs of adding additional waste bins for each household and business could be astronomical, too.
Mark Hall from BusinessWaste.co.uk concluded:
“Something must be done about this sooner rather than later. The cost of an extra bin per household will run into double-digit millions, which will put pressure on already stretched local authority budgets. Not only this, but then we have to consider some of the biggest consumers of plastics – businesses. Ensuring an environmentally friendly and effective solution for recycling business waste needs to be a priority.”
“A short term solution would be to have a separate bag or container in which plastic waste would be placed to help plants sort them more efficiently and ensure that we recycle as much as we can.”
“It might seem ambitious, but in an ideal world we would ban plastics immediately. From reusable bamboo coffee cups to the ban on microbeads, it has been proven time and again that corporations can be creative and adapt when it comes to cutting plastic out of their production. We’d like to see that become the norm in society so we can avoid further damage to our environment and our wildlife.”