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This guide is targeted at senior officers within waste teams at local authorities. It aims to communicate the key messages surrounding the collection of plastic bottles in a digestible and concise format that can be consulted easily during busy schedules.

Who is it for?
  • Those interested in finding out how to improve the plastic bottle quality and/or quantity
  • Those who do not wish to expand the plastic bottle collection to include non-bottle plastic packaging in the short to medium term



In England, the overarching objective is to recycle 50% of household waste by 2020, as outlined in the most recent Waste Strategy for England. Collecting plastic bottles could be a way to help you achieve your objectives.

The growth in plastic bottle recycling has been incredible. Back in 2000, only around 12,000 tonnes of plastic bottles were recycled in the UK – it’s now nearly 20 times that amount. We are also seeing rapid growth in domestic infrastructure to reprocess plastic bottles – some of which are even producing recycled food grade materials. Around half of the plastic bottles collected for recycling are now reprocessed in the UK.

This useful guide takes you through research we’ve conducted around the subject. If you collect plastic bottles at the kerbside, or are thinking about doing so, it is well worth a read.

We explore the importance of collecting high quality materials and what this means, the types of kerbside collection that could be used and their advantages, and the steps you need to take to be sure it is right for you.

To communicate the plastic bottle message wider we have created communications material which has gone through rigorous consumer testing, including flyers, posters and bus advertising. This can be found on our Recycle Now partners site.

Resources for partners in Scotland is available on the Partners Website.

Download the guide >>
Download materials bulk densities summary report >>





Introduction >>
Structure of this guide >>
Policy context >>
Market context >>
Plastic bottle collection in the UK >>
Scheme design >>
Household communications >>
Point of collection >>
Post-collection sorting and baling >>
Material Recycling Facilities (MRFs) >>





To find information related to this report, please use the following links:

Types of plastic packaging >>
Rigid plastic packaging >>
Mixed plastic packaging >>
Plastic film packaging >>


Where next?


Want to know more about kerbside collection? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>


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  • Plastic_bottles_kerbside_collection_guide_v2.pdf

    PDF, 1.59 MB

  • Bulk Density Summary Report - Jan2010.pdf

    PDF, 141.44 KB