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Improvement in plastic recycling collections in Swansea

Residents are being praised for helping to improve the quality of plastic recycled in Swansea.

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It follows a campaign by Swansea Council to encourage households not to place film-type plastic in the kerbside collections.

Items including cling film and carrier bags are no longer acceptable in kerbside plastic collections because it causes problems during the recycling process when mixed with harder plastics.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Services, said: "Our recycling officers have definitely noticed an improvement in the type of plastic being collected.

"We have asked residents to consider what plastics they are putting out for collection and not to include flimsy plastic items such as carrier bags and food wrapping.

"Its possible residents don't' fully appreciate why we are requesting this and we recognise it may seem a bit of a backward step. In reality flimsy plastics make up a very small percentage of plastic we collect in the city.

"What's important is that residents are getting the message and are supporting us in our efforts to divert as much plastic away from landfill as possible."

Following the minor change to the plastic collections, the Council has started rolling its latest improvement to the kerbside recycling scheme for plastic which sees the previous single use sacks being replaced by a reusable pink bag - similar to garden waste collections.

The new reusable bags are helping to encourage residents to only put loose hard plastic in the bag.

The purpose of the new scheme is also to tackle the issue of single use bags being blown around in high winds - the new bags have a weighted base.

Cllr Thomas added: "The new scheme is helping to speed up good practice by residents in terms of unwanted flimsy plastics. Our recycling teams are noticing a much better quality of plastic during recent collections. This is hugely beneficial to us as it means we are able to get a better return for the material in the marketplace."

The majority of residents in Swansea are now included in the reusable pink bag scheme for plastic and the remaining residents will be introduced to it during the next few weeks.

Cllr Thomas added: "There will be some properties in the city that are not on the scheme yet and this will be down to the type of vehicle that collects their household waste. This includes properties in some rural areas or where smaller vehicles are used for collection."

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