The Plastic problem

The Plastic problem

The Plastic problem

Ever wondered
what happens
to your plastic
recycling?

Up to 3.9m tonnes of plastic waste was estimated as being produced in 2016/17, in the UK alone. Of that, compelling data suggests that the official recycling rate (approximately 46%), could actually be 50% less, at around 23%.

This is due to an underestimate in the amount of plastic packaging produced in the first place, coupled with an overestimate of plastic waste recovered (as discussed in more detail in our blog).

So, most goes straight to landfill but what about the rest?

An estimated 60% gets exported, and until China banned all plastic waste imports in 2018, it was much more.

Up to 3.9m tonnes of plastic waste was estimated as being produced in 2016/17, in the UK alone. Of that, compelling data suggests that the official recycling rate (approximately 46%), could actually be 50% less, at around 23%.

This is due to an underestimate in the amount of plastic packaging produced in the first place, coupled with an overestimate of plastic waste recovered (as discussed in more detail in our blog).

So, most goes straight to landfill but what about the rest?

An estimated 60% gets exported, and until China banned all plastic waste imports in 2018, it was much more.

You may also be surprised to learn that simply by exporting this waste, it is immediately deemed to be ‘recycled’, and counts towards official statistics on recycling rates.

In fact, there is actually a financial incentive for waste companies to export rather than recycle.

Now, this might be ok if the waste was actually recycled. However, the destinations in which our plastic waste ends up, are often not equipped to deal with it properly. As a result, it ends up decomposing in huge piles, ending up in water ways, and therefore, ultimately, the ocean.

The Plastic problem

Ever wondered
what happens
to your plastic
recycling?

Up to 3.9m tonnes of plastic waste was estimated as being produced in 2016/17, in the UK alone. Of that, compelling data suggests that the official rates of plastic packaging recycling, around 46%, could actually be 50% less.

This is due to an underestimate in the amount of plastic packaging produced in the first place, coupled with an overestimate of plastic waste recovered (as discussed in more detail in our blog).

Up to 3.9m tonnes of plastic waste was estimated as being produced in 2016/17, in the UK alone. Of that, compelling data suggests that the official recycling rate (approximately 46%), could actually be 50% less, at around 23%.

This is due to an underestimate in the amount of plastic packaging produced in the first place, coupled with an overestimate of plastic waste recovered (as discussed in more detail in our blog).

So, most goes straight to landfill but what about the rest?

An estimated 60% gets exported, and until China banned all plastic waste imports in 2018, it was much more.

You may also be surprised to learn that simply by exporting this waste, it is immediately deemed to be ‘recycled’, and counts towards official statistics on recycling rates.

In fact, there is actually a financial incentive for waste companies to export rather than recycle.

Now, this might be ok if the waste was actually recycled. However, the destinations in which our plastic waste ends up, are often not equipped to deal with it properly. As a result, it ends up decomposing in huge piles, ending up in water ways, and therefore, ultimately, the ocean.

The BBC recently did a documentary on the problem, showing tons and tons of waste in Malaysia (supposedly destined for recycling) from councils throughout the UK.

So, even when we're diligently separating, scrubbing and removing labels, when it comes to plastic recycling, it's often in vain.

Join the plastic free laundry revolution today

Join the plastic-free laundry revolution

Up to 3.9m tonnes of plastic waste was estimated as being produced in 2016/17, in the UK alone. Of that, compelling data suggests that the official recycling rate (approximately 46%), could actually be 50% less, at around 23%.

This is due to an underestimate in the amount of plastic packaging produced in the first place, coupled with an overestimate of plastic waste recovered (as discussed in more detail in our blog).

So, most goes straight to landfill but what about the rest?

An estimated 60% gets exported, and until China banned all plastic waste imports in 2018, it was much more.

You may also be surprised to learn that simply by exporting this waste, it is immediately deemed to be ‘recycled’, and counts towards official statistics on recycling rates.

In fact, there is actually a financial incentive for waste companies to export rather than recycle.

Now, this might be ok if the waste was actually recycled. However, the destinations in which our plastic waste ends up, are often not equipped to deal with it properly. As a result, it ends up decomposing in huge piles, ending up in water ways, and therefore, ultimately, the ocean.

The BBC recently did a documentary on the problem, showing tons and tons of waste in Malaysia (supposedly destined for recycling) from councils throughout the UK.

So, even when we're diligently separating, scrubbing and removing labels, when it comes to plastic recycling, it's often in vain.

Join the laundry revolution

No plastic. No toxic chemicals. Just powerful eco-friendly laundry detergent, posted through your letterbox.

The BBC recently did a documentary on the problem, showing tons and tons of waste in Malaysia (supposedly destined for recycling) from councils throughout the UK.

So, even when we're diligently separating, scrubbing and removing labels, when it comes to plastic recycling, it's often in vain.

Join the laundry revolution

No plastic. No toxic chemicals. Just powerful eco-friendly laundry detergent, posted through your letterbox.