We’re making some changes to our plastic recycling in spring 2019. Listed below are some useful frequently asked questions with their responses to help you find out what these changes mean:
Residents are now being asked to put any plastic bags, film or wrapping in their black bins/bags rather than their plastic recycling.
Any plastic bags, film and wraps can no longer be recycled and should go in your black bin/bag for collection. Common examples of these items are listed below:
Plastic bags - common examples include:
Plastic film - common examples include:
Plastic wrapping - common examples include flexible wrapping from:
Following the Council’s decision on 13 March 2019 not to accept these items for recycling anymore, these changes have now come into effect and we are sharing this change with the public.
There is now no demand for these particular types of plastic once they’re recycled, therefore these items will not be recycled by recycling plants for the foreseeable future. We know many residents spend time and effort sorting their recycling and it’s important that they’re aware these items are no longer recyclable.
This issue is not specific to Colchester and most other councils do not collect these materials for recycling.
These particular types of plastics are unlikely to be recyclable for the foreseeable future. If they were to ever become recyclable again then we would accept these for recycling again as we’re keen to reduce rubbish and recycle as much as possible.
No, the three 60 litre black bag limit for households will not be increased as a result of these changes. These plastic items are all thin and pliable and will not add any significant extra volume to household rubbish. Based on current collections, calculations show that the changes mean that on average households will have an extra 8 grams of material for each black bag/bin which is less than the weight of a tablespoon of sugar.
Yes, the items that can and can’t be recycled are the same whatever type of property you live in, in the borough.
All of the plastic recycling we receive is sorted and processed locally before being reused and turned into new products. To find out what happens to all of the recycling we collect from households in the borough, please watch our You Tube videos.
Clear plastic recycling bags containing any plastic bags, film or wrapping will still be collected, however these particular items will not be recycled and will be removed and sent to landfill or used as an energy fuel.
Yes, as the clear bags are used as containers for paper and card, plastics and textiles, they are split and separated at the start of the process and are all recycled.
Many plastic bags, film and wraps are single-use plastics where more sustainable alternatives such as reusable bags and containers are available. Last year the Council launched its Colchester Plastic Pledge campaign to encourage residents and local businesses to be more plastic aware and commit to reducing their use/supply of single-use plastics which are damaging to the environment. The Council is continuing to actively reach out to and work with local organisations to encourage them to offer residents and their customers, reusable and more environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use plastics.
Some supermarkets provide collection points for customers to return plastic film and carrier bags for recycling. Further details are available on Recycle Now’s website.
You can also recycle a range of plastic items such as crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, bread bags, baby food pouches and pet food pouches through Terracycle. Check the Terracycle map for local collection points.