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Plymouth City Council and Viridor go behind-the-scenes to show how plastic is recycled

11th October 2018

Plymouth City Council and Viridor have teamed up in a bid to show residents how their efforts at home make a difference and help to ensure more plastic is recycled, reprocessed and reused.

According to the Viridor 2018 Recycling Index, which was released last month, four in 10 members of the public think all their recyclable and non-recyclable waste end up at the same place.

In a behind-the-scenes day of filming at the Chelson Meadow Materials Recycling Facility, the council and Viridor captured the journey of plastic in a video, demonstrating how it can be reprocessed and reused when residents put the right stuff in the right bin.

Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and the Environment for Plymouth City Council, said: “What happens to recyclable plastic once it has gone into the green recycling bin is also one of our most frequently asked questions, so the video is the ideal way to answer this, by showing our residents the journey of their plastic.

“The MRF recycles around 3,000 tonnes of plastic every year. It is important that everyone knows this, and also know that their individual efforts all help in the fight to tackle plastic pollution.”

Aaron Reed, Recycling Officer at Plymouth City Council, who features in the video, said: “Part of our role is to go out and speak to local residents about what they can and can’t recycle, so the video is a great way of helping a lot more people understand more about recycling, and also share it with their friends and family.”

Viridor’s Andy Tapp, Lead Unit Manager (South West & West Sussex), said: “It’s important for Plymouth residents see the processes at Chelson Meadow MRF so they can appreciate how their important work in separating their recycling at home helps us to ensure plastic is recycled and reprocessed, going on to live another life.

“We see waste as a resource and not rubbish and we hope the video will help residents understand how the process works and how recycling efforts are boosted when we all play our part. We want them to feel confident that their efforts really do make a difference.”

The video shows waste travel through the recycling plant and being baled before continuing its onward journey to Viridor’s Skelmersdale plant to be transformed into flakes or pellets and reused in the manufacturing process as an alternative to virgin plastic. Viridor also used the opportunity to remind residents of materials, such as needles, batteries and nappies, which hamper the recycling process and which are a common issue for the recycling sector.

The video forms part of Britain’s Ocean City Plan for Plastics.

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