A new scheme is set to make it easier for Lancashire residents to recycle their plastic waste.
From October, residents will be able to put clean plastic pots, tubs and trays in their recycling bins, as well as the plastic bottles for liquids which are already collected.
The new items include yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, and meat, fruit and vegetable trays of any shape or colour.
People are also being urged to rinse items to make them more valuable to reprocessing companies, and maximise the likelihood that they will be recycled.
It is easy to see whether an item is recyclable by checking the number stamped onto it. Anything with a number 1, 2 or 5 within the recycling triangle should go into your recycling bin.
The new scheme is being run by Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for waste management, said: “It’s great that we can now recycle more plastic, and if everyone adds pots, tubs and trays to all the things they already recycle it will make a real difference.
“Recycling these extra plastics is very simple – the colour and shape of the container doesn’t matter – the main thing is to check that that it can be recycled, and give it a rinse. This helps to make sure things aren’t rejected when they go through our system. Food left on the container can also make it unsuitable for re-processing, resulting in the plastic not getting recycled.
“It’s also important that items are kept loose so we can sort them – not in bags or boxes.”
Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “We are committed to recycling as much waste as possible. It’s a positive move for the environment that from October we alongside Lancashire County Council will be collecting a wider range of plastic items placed in recycling bins.
“The fact that the recycled plastic can be made into new products can play an important role in tackling plastic pollution. I would urge all residents just to take that little bit of time needed to ensure that as many plastic items as possible are correctly disposed of in recycling bins. Small actions can make a big difference.”
Around 90 per cent of the plastic from recycling collected in Lancashire is processed within the UK. Recycled plastic can be and made into new products such as fleeces, pillows or new plastic bottles.
The only overseas contract is to a well-established operation in Spain that makes it into new plastic products. Commercially and logistically, as well as environmentally, it makes sense to keep as much of the material as possible within the UK. All UK local authority waste information is publicly available through www.wastedataflow.org ensuring transparency.
What the councils collect now:
• Glass bottles;
• Glass jars;
• Food tins;
• Drink cans;
• Clean foil;
• Clean foil trays;
• Empty aerosol cans;
• Metal biscuit and sweet tins;
• Metal bottle caps and lids;
• Plastic bottles, including, for example shampoo and detergent bottles;
• Plastic lids either on or off the bottles.
The councils will also collect the following after October 1:
• Solid lids on pots tubs and trays;
• Pots (e.g. yogurt, soup, etc.);
• Tubs (e.g. margarine, ice cream, etc.);
• Trays / punnets (e.g. raw meat or ham trays; take-away trays; fruit /veg trays) – remove any plastic film, as a wrapping, as an addition such as in a tray base to cushion soft fruit and put these in your general rubbish;
• Chocolate and biscuit tubs and trays;
• Other clear plastic packaging;
• Plant pots.
Plastic pots, tubs and trays will be accepted in with glass/cans/plastic bottles.
Where a tub or tray has plastic film on it, please remove it. Plastic film and plastic bags cannot be recycled as a part of doorstep collections.