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Over eight million pieces of packaging have been made out of recycled material in the last six months thanks to the recycling efforts of Cambridgeshire residents.

At the beginning of the year a UK first was launched between Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Waste Partnership (RECAP) and Cambridgeshire based plastic packaging company Charpak Ltd to see plastic waste collected across the county sorted, recycled, cleaned and re-manufactured into new products that can be recycled again and again.

During its first six months over 200 recycling trucks of plastic waste has been collected (over 1500 tonnes), 199 of which has been recycled and re-processed within the UK. 215 tonnes of this material has been returned to Charpak to manufacture packaging made from the recycled material.

In total 1000 tonnes of Cambridgeshire’s plastic waste has been re-used by packaging manufacturers across the UK.

Chair of the RECAP board and South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental ServicesCouncillor Bill Handleysaid:  “Our residents already do a brilliant job at recycling – 55% of waste in Cambridgeshire is recycled but there is always room to improve. It is clear that residents want to do the right thing and I get a high number of emails from residents on the subject. Our message during Recycle Week is to help residents understand how we can make sure even more material is reused by putting more of what can be recycled in their recycling bin or taken along to Household Recycling Centres and keeping things that can’t be recycled out. We’ll be showcasing new short films featuring some top tips throughout the week, follow us on Facebook at CambridgeandPeterboroughRecycles and on Twitter @RECAPRecycles”

Charpak Managing Director, Paul Smith said “We would ideally use all the recovered material. We ask for such high quality, our re-processors have needed to share the remainder of the recycled material with other packaging manufacturers.” He adds “1,000 tonnes of existing recycled material has been reused to make packaging, all within the UK. That means it’s not waste, it’s reusing valuable existing material and reduces the amount of new plastic that needs to be made.”

“We’re sharing this update during Recycle Week to show what can be achieved. Already saving over 200 refuse trucks from landfill and disposal in Cambridgeshire alone, imagine what could be achieved nationwide to reduce plastic waste when more people recycle more and recycle right. At Charpak we reuse the recycled and cleaned material again and again. It’s important to dispel the myth that all plastic packaging is bad and it ends up as waste. Already we have further development programmes with the recovery of other materials. It’s important to demonstrate what can be achieved when consumers, organisations and local authorities work together and the difference that can make.”


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