China’s refusal to no longer accept low grade recyclable plastics has led to a dramatic reduction in the price paid for plastic waste. However, by prioritising in-house sorting, businesses can still maximise the value of their recyclable plastic waste.
Higher grade recyclable plastics retain value
Until recently, much of the UK’s recycling was exported to China for recycling. Once the world’s biggest importer of waste, last year China announced that they will no longer accept many types of waste, including PET bottles and mixed paper.
Following China’s announcement, many recycling firms have been forced to refuse mixed, or low grade plastics, or pay less for plastic waste.
Simon Almond, Managing Director of Zero to Landfill, said that they had seen “the biggest fall in demand” for plastics, but that “there is still relatively strong demand for single stream recycling such as higher grade plastics”.
While work is being done to improve the UK’s domestic plastic recycling capability, this will take time. The immediate option for businesses is to segregate plastics waste, to ensure they are getting maximum value from higher grade plastics.
Improved segregation of recyclable plastics can maximise revenue
China will now only accept contamination levels of 0.3%, so to maximise the revenue from plastic waste, higher grade plastics need to be segregated from low grade plastic waste. However, if this sorting is left to outsourced, recycling firms, it will increase their costs. This means that the businesses that bring segregation of recyclable plastics in-house, will retain their recyclable plastic revenues and benefit the most.
Using Knapzak for segregation
The Knapzap system makes it possible for businesses to maximise return on their recyclable plastic waste.
Knapzaps are clear, recycled plastic sacks and Knapholders, which keep the plastic bags in place, make it easy to sort waste at speed to a very high standard. Knapzaks can be placed throughout the workplace, making waste separation efficient and virtually effortless.
As the bags are perforated, sorted plastic waste can be baled at source, making it a valuable commodity.