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Improvements in plastic recycling earn Swansea residents praise

Efforts by residents in Swansea to recycle plastic have been praised by Swansea Council

plastic waste

Households are getting the message that flimsy plastic such as film, crisp packets and bags or hard plastic such as toys and laundry baskets are not accepted in the Council's kerbside plastic recycling service.

This has resulted in the Council collecting better quality plastic that can be passed on for recycling in the UK.

In recent weeks, more homes in the city have been converted on to the reusable pink bag service from the old style single use bags.

The reusable pink bags were introduced to help improve the quality of plastic sent for recycling and encourage residents to only put loose rigid plastic items in the bag such as bottles, pots, tubs and trays.

The Council has previously issued advice to residents on the types of plastic that are accepted but tougher action has been needed to get the message across resulting in some households bags not being collected.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, said: "The collection of plastic materials from households in Swansea has been very successful since its introduction in 2010.

"Many thousands of tonnes of plastic have been diverted from landfill because of this.

"During the last twelve months it has been necessary to give out more information to residents on the types of plastic that can go in the bags to ensure we can continue to find recycling outlets for it. Many have responded positively and this has led to an improvement in the quality plastic we are collecting.

"Residents in Swansea should be proud of the efforts to help the Council recycle more household waste and reduce disposal costs for landfill."

The latest recycling stats show that in 2017/18 a total of 4,631 tonnes of plastic was collected with an estimated saving on disposal costs of £495,000.

More recently the Council has launched its 'Keep it out' campaign, encouraging households to recycle household waste and avoid putting it in black bags.

All Councils in Wales must recycle 64% of household waste collected by 2020. Swansea is currently recycling around 62%.

Cllr Thomas added: "Residents already recycling have helped us achieve our current rate. Our surveys tell us that 4 in 5 residents are participating in the kerbside recycling service. Our latest campaign will help bring the remaining residents who currently recycle nothing or very little on board so we can meet the Welsh Government targets."


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