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Plastic recycling

Why can't I recycle plastic pots, tubs or trays?

Mixed recycling collected in Hampshire is sorted at one of two Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). These facilities sort items into different streams (e.g. aluminium, steel, plastic bottles) via a mix of mechanical and manual sorting. Our MRFs are able to sort plastic bottles from other materials via an "optical sort" whereby infra-red light is used to identify and separate two types of plastic bottle. They are:

These two types make up around 97%  of the plastic bottle stream, including milk, soft drink, cosmetic and cleaning product bottles.

Plastic pots, tubs and trays (PTT) are made up of a wider variety of polymers – e.g. PS, PP, PET, PVC, and LDPE. This range of polymers cannot be successfully sorted in our MRFs without investing significantly in new equipment, which at this stage would be prohibitively expensive. Even if the required equipment were to be installed, it is likely that there would also be the following issues:

Project Integra has recently carried out a review into alternative materials we could add into our kerbside recycling, but for the reasons described, widening the range of plastics accepted is not viable in the short term.

Further information on plastic recycling

 



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