June 27 2022

We need to start recycling more of our plastic

WE have a great level of recycling here in South Gloucestershire – one of the highest in the country – and that’s thanks to the incredible efforts of environmentally-mindful residents who sort their waste and recycling every week, diverting it away from landfill. 

But there is still room for improvement, and the council are looking at ways to further improve on this, driving recycling up to 70% with zero biogenic waste to landfill by 2030.

There is a big gap in our recycling ability, as soft plastics are currently not collected as part of our waste service. Whilst cans, cardboard and glass all regularly line our streets on collection day, so many everyday items, such as plastic bags, crisp packets and pet food pouches are not collected.

Flexible plastic packaging in fact represents nearly a quarter of all UK consumer plastic packaging, but only 6 per cent is currently recycled.

This is why I am working with my fellow local MPs on our soft plastic campaign, with the support of the community, to secure this type of recycling for our communities so we drive up our recycling rates yet further.

Excitingly, South Gloucestershire Council have submitted a bid for our area to be included in a national pilot scheme that is due to be launched, which would see soft-plastic recycling trialled in our area, with collections from the kerbside. This would be a real, positive step to help reduce household waste and protect our environment.

I have also met with the Environment Minister in Parliament to raise the profile of our campaign, so we can ensure South Gloucestershire Council is part of this exciting programme.

Nationally, work is continuing to tackle plastic waste, and the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan has committed to work towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Steps have also been taken to boost the market for plastic recycling, including the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022, which will see a charge of £200 per tonne on plastic packaging with less than 30 recycled content.

As your local MP, I will continue to champion action to protect our precious local environment.