A review of the current status of the household plastic film packaging recycling supply chain, incorporating collection options and emerging markets.

Key points
  • 1.1 million tonnes of plastic film consumed in the UK each year. This is approximately 44% of all plastic packaging. Approximately 560,000 tonnes of this is consumer plastic film
  • Despite various initiatives plastic film remains a highly visible component of the household residual waste stream that is only currently captured at low levels for recycling
  • The Plasflow 2017 study found consumer film and rigid plastic packaging to be two of the largest untapped sources of recyclable plastic


This document is intended to inform local authorities and other collectors of the challenges associated with sorting and recycling household plastic film.

It includes background information on the material and quantities arising as waste in the UK, an overview of existing collection approaches and sections on the challenges and emerging opportunities associated with sorting, reprocessing and establishing UK markets for this material.


Communications materials

To communicate the rigid plastic packing message wider we have created communications material which has gone through rigorous consumer testing, including flyers, posters and bus advertising. More details on this process can be found on the Recycle Now partners website.

The materials for England and Northern Ireland can be found at the Recycle Now partners website.

Scottish partners can request artwork by emailing: partnerbranding@zerowastescotland.org.uk 

Welsh authorities can request artwork by emailing: mail@wasteawarenesswales.org.uk or call 02920 468613.

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  • WRAP-MST1445_Plastic_Film_Briefing_Note_final for web.pdf

    PDF, 1 MB