RECOUP accuses politics of slowing delivery of effective recycling plastics programmes

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Bringing back multi-use water containers, preferably with 5/10 cents redeemable allowance and ...

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Stuart Foster, CEO, at RECOUP, has voiced concern that "politics and positioning (and the time and resources it absorbs) from a growing number of associations, companies and NGOs, is creating a wave of green rhetoric and media attention, but slowing delivery of effective programmes" that would move the recycling plastics industry forward. The CEO's comment follows recent attention given to the ocean plastics debate.

Foster promised that RECOUP, the not-for-profit organisation that promotes plastic recycling in the UK, will continue to "engage with the whole of the plastics supply chain with these issues and we are keen to keep the debate alive to advance plastics recycling and resource efficiency” and that the association does not "shy away from tackling the difficult questions that are likely to affect the future of plastics recycling".

Dr Helene Roberts, group marketing and innovations director, LINPAC, (a member of RECOUP) said she supported the collaborative approach espoused by RECOUP. She said: “Today, individual business can do much to innovate their products and services to make recycling easier and promote packaging as a valuable resource.

"A joined-up approach, in which we see collaboration between business, industry, local government and education of the consumer, is now key to growing a deeper understanding of plastics recycling sector challenges. To make a circular economy a reality in the future, every link in the chain needs to be committed to coming together to make a meaningful change and develop end markets for recycled materials,” added Roberts.

According to RECOUP, despite the plastic recycling sector having engaged with the circular economy debate and working together to bring about change and opportunities for advancement, "the ocean plastics debate has traditionally been another story".

"The media attention has made it the ‘elephant in the room’ of plastic material management, but the challenge is how to engage in a positive way and have a rounded debate and understanding of all the issues," urged Foster.

Paul Vanston, CEO of INCPEN, questioned whether in the light of that media attention, “Ocean plastics, recyclability, recycled content, polymer rationalisation, composites, collection & capture – a multitude of issues that, when put together, are seriously challenging our whole value chain to arrive at collaborative answers.

The INCPEN CEO predicted that : "Regulatory frameworks in the UK and Europe are set to change.”

RECOUP said it will be discussing these issues at its annual conference on 28 September. For more details of the event, visit

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Bringing back multi-use water containers, preferably with 5/10 cents redeemable allowance and public filtered and mineralised water vending machines would go a long way to addressing this issue of single use container recycling.

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