5 June was World Environment Day and our partner, environmental producer compliance scheme Comply Direct, marked the occasion with a focus on sharing articles covering different topical environmental subjects, including plastic recycling which our Managing Director Carol Cox was perfectly placed to share her thoughts and knowledge on.
Comply Direct interviewed Carol with a host of questions around both consumer and business related plastic issues. Read a snippet of the interview below…
Which plastics are you able to recycle which can’t normally be put in household recycling? Please can you give me examples of items?
Now there is a question – The plastics materials that can be recycled depends on the waste management companies that support the local councils with household recycling.
Certain areas within the UK can recycle Tubs, Lids and Pots, for example, and potentially in the next town they cannot due to where the material is to be processed. Another example shows LDPE (carrier bag material) that can be recycled in a certain postcode area as the waste management company has invested in the machinery and process to enable them to pull this type of material out of the process. The same material, in a different postcode, that is being sent to a different waste management company may not have the capability to pull this type of material out of the waste stream so the local council will be advised that these types of materials can not be put into the recycling stream.
Here at OSO we take all LDPE recycled waste and are willing to work with the councils and waste management companies. Over these last 12 months we have worked with several local councils to try and improve the percentage of household waste that can be recycled rather than being sent to landfill or incineration.
How do you sort what can be recycled from what can’t be recycled?
Here at OSO we handpick the material, as much as we can, before the material goes through further processing through our machinery. There are elements of our process which will separate the different polymers and remove the contamination needed to re-process the LDPE.
Do you think recycling labels in the UK are confusing?
The labels stating that the materials are recyclable, on consumer packaging for example, are very confusing. Certain materials are recyclable but it is the infrastructure of the recycling process that dictates what is classed as recyclable. Which is why some packaging states that it is widely recycled and/or to check with local recycling.
Have you experienced any issues with being sent the wrong/contaminated plastics for recycling?
Yes quite often but it’s a matter of working with the supplier to understand how the non-target materials can be eliminated going forward. Since Covid-19 we have seen a decrease in the quality of the materials as there has been limited amount of staff and resource within the recycling industry at this time.
OSO Environmental is an ambitious, Environment Agency accredited secondary waste material sourcing facility based in Leeds, Yorkshire UK. Alongside our sister company OSO Polymers who process and convert plastic waste, OSO Environmental receive, store and monitor the movement of the waste, whether that be to support the factory or support other plastic processing companies in the UK or overseas.