A national scheme for recycling household plastic waste has been battered by environment agencies, who have written to MPs saying the results are ‘woefully’ poor.
Recycling Netwerk, a coalition of environmental organisations, has been lobbying a parliamentary committee which was set to discuss the ‘circular economy’ and recycling targets on Wednesday. It argues that the so-called Plastic Heroes recycling system is anything but heroic.
‘We note that the Plastic Heroes system operates woefully poorly, both in terms of financial costs and benefits and the environmental perspective,’ says the letter. It calls for concrete preventative action to reduce plastic waste, deposits on all plastic bottles and recycling obligations for individual companies.
The scheme was set up by the packaging industry in 2009, reports NOS. Robbert van Duin, chairman of the Recycling Network told the broadcaster: ‘The yield is now worth more than €2 million. The remaining 70% [of plastics deposited] cannot be sold. Money needs to be spent to recycle them…The financial and environmental benefits are at loggerheads.’
He claims that more household plastic waste is ending up in black bin liners – from 19% in 2013 to about 25% now. The organisation believes deposits on plastics would be far more effective. ‘We need a collection system that ensures that products are really returned,’ said Van Duin. ‘Plastic bottles and glass bottles, but also PVC window frames and pipes. Such systems are truly effective.’
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