This page presents the case for reducing plastic and other waste and is full of useful links. We welcome additional submissions.
Waste reduction: thinking plastic
Different types of waste demand different solutions. Plastic waste is one of our biggest problems, but there are plenty of solutions within reach.
The problem is huge. Although we know that plastic waste is polluting rivers and oceans and being illegally dumped in poor communities abroad, the UK continues to produce more plastic waste per person than almost any other country. Only the USA is worse. The Government estimates that the UK uses 5 million tonnes of plastic a year, which means, roughly that every year we all get through our own body weight in plastic.
On top of this, plastic production is actually increasing - it’s set to double by 2040.
Only about 11% of our domestic plastic waste in the UK is currently recycled. That figures, because recycling has to be economically viable, and for most things, it just isn’t. It’s too expensive for plastic sorting companies to separate all the different types of plastic that all need their own specific treatment and then sell them at an attractive price to the businesses who could use them. That’s why the council is so restrictive in specifying the types of plastic we can put in our bins.
Recycling means downcycling. Unlike metals, which can be recycled over and over again, plastic degrades in quality, diminishes in quantity (yield loss), or both during each use and recovery. For more on the types of recycling, see our 'About' page