An exciting new initiative is launching in the UK in a bid to reduce plastic waste and make it easier than ever for consumers and businesses to do their part to protect the environment. Reusables UK’s innovative collection scheme will provide a simple, straightforward way for everyone to help keep plastics out of the oceans and away from landfill with a shift from recycling to reusing.
Under the scheme, those in participating areas will be able to leave compatible products – such as glass and plastic bottles, takeaway containers, jars, biscuit tins, and paint cans – at their usual waste collection point alongside their council-provision bins. Reusables UK will collect items on a 4-weekly basis, washing and processing at dedicated centres before selling the materials back to the original manufacturer or UK-based distributor. Four heavy duty reusable, sealable bags will be provided for each four-week period.
“While it is always better to recycle suitable plastics rather than throw away, to really make an impact and remove as much plastic waste as we possibly can, we first need to stop the flow of new plastic waste entering the environment, and that means shifting where possible from a recycling mindset to a reusing mindset” says former KPMG Finance Manager Andrew Bullen, who now acts as Managing Director for the Reusables UK initiative. “If successful, this could scupper the government’s planned Deposit Return Scheme.
“Recycling involves breaking down materials and rebuilding them, so plastics become weaker with each process and still end up in landfill and in oceans after a few cycles, but when plastics are reused, we can extend time from manufacture to waste by decades.”
Under the scheme, Reusables UK hopes to collect an average of 100 items of packaging per household with each collection, which would go a long way towards reducing plastic waste in the UK. According to a recent Government report, around five million tonnes of plastic is used each year in the UK, with packaging making up about half of that total. The WWF estimates that 80% of the plastic that’s polluting the world’s oceans has come from a land-based source.
In addition to playing a major role in reducing plastic waste, Reusables UK is also on a mission to support local recovery during this particularly challenging time. The new scheme is expected to create thousands of jobs in both collection and sorting across the country, while also providing money-saving opportunities for struggling local authorities by reducing the amount of waste that they collect as part of weekly household and business waste schemes.
To celebrate the launch of the scheme, Reusables UK is currently auctioning off exclusive sponsorship spaces on its collection bags. There are just eight spaces available for businesses looking for long term, low cost advertising, and an opportunity to have their name associated with an excellent cause.
To find out more about Reusables UK, visit www.reusablesuk.com