FTFL Blog - MayThe Big Beach Clean Up in Kent (from left: Philip Watkins, Dick Searle, Peter Davis)
There is a considerable drive in the UK plastics industry to play its part in recycling more and the achievement to date shows that there is a role for both legislation and voluntary initiatives to play their part. This month the BPF was at the front line of plastics recovery. Philip Watkins, President of the BPF, Peter Davis, Director General of the BPF and Dick Searle Chief Executive of PAFA, headed down to Deal Beach to take part in the Big Beach Clean Up. The industry wants plastic back for recycling and not to be dumped or littered.
One success story in this area is that of recycling of PVC building products. This has been achieved on the back of an industry voluntary commitment which has been in train since 2001 and which is now dubbed ‘VinylPlus’. Under this, a record of 362,076 tonnes of PVC were recycled last year across Europe with the UK as a leader, a remarkable achievement considering that these are long-life products and that building activity is flat-lined. We have now recycled over 1 million PVC windows in the UK.
PlasticsEurope also revealed figures this week that support this trend. They showed that progress continues to be made in the recovery and recycling of used materials. In 2011 the UK recovered some 27.3% of all used plastics. Whilst this compares unfavourably with the European average of 59.6%, these figures mask some important details such as the growth in bottle recycling and the high proportion of milk containers now recycled. The figures also showed that UK consumption of plastics is recovering from its 2009 low, which will be of some comfort to the 180,0000 people employed in the UK plastics sector. Last year demand for virgin plastics by processors increased by 1.2% over the 2011 figure.
Separately, the BPF has launched a new online shop www.bpfshop.com. This service is primarily aimed at making it easier for companies in the plastics industry to access the specialist knowledge they need to develop and improve their business performance. The shop features nearly 600 books and reports on the plastics industry created by the world’s leading publishing houses for plastics topics including Wiley, Townsend Reports, Smithers Rapra, Hanser and Elsevier.
Finally, for exporters, UK Trade & Investment has announced an increase in support for UK firm’s exhibiting at overseas tradeshows. There are now grants available of up to £3000 through the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP). With the additional financial help available, the programme aims to encourage British firms to export and promote their business abroad. Why not join the British Group this year at K 2013 (16 - 23 Oct 2013, Dusseldorf, Germany) and Plastivision (12 - 16 Dec 2013, Mumbai, India).