Redesigning the plastics system - the role of non-mechanical recycling
A circular economy for plastics
Urgent action is required globally to reduce the impact of plastic packaging on our natural environment. In the UK we are redesigning the plastics system to reduce the climate impact of plastic by stopping plastic waste, and the harmful emissions of new plastic production, keeping the material in the economy and out of the environment. Non-mechanical recycling will play a pivotal role in redesigning the plastics system in the UK.
Seizing the opportunity
Non-mechanical recycling has the potential to significantly increase the UK’s recycling rates, enable recycled content to be used back in packaging and divert valuable resources from landfill and incineration. Working alongside traditional mechanical recycling, it will have a big impact towards the redesign of our plastics system in the UK and our vision of a circular economy for plastics.
Provide a route to increasing the percentage of plastic being effectively recycled.
Complement advances in mechanical recycling.
Generate a versatile feedstock of the same quality as virgin material for food grade and other high specification applications that lower the dependency on virgin plastics.
It will avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that occur in virgin resin production and from the incineration of plastic waste.
What needs to happen next?
We have some simple asks of industry and government:
Discussion panel on non-mechanical recycling
In partnership with the NICER programme, WRAP's Adam Herriott chaired a panel discussion with Thomas Baker from WRAP, Bing Xu from Heriot-Watt University – CircularChem, Geoff Brighty from RenewELP and Paul Davidson from UKRI.
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