Reprinted from Newsletter 122, dated 2007 May

Plastic at last to be collected

Plastic and cardboard could soon be included among the material collected from Glastonbury residents for recycling. Mendip started a pilot scheme in October involving households chosen at random throughout the district, and results are being coordinated with Somerset Waste Partnership.

Meanwhile residents can take plastic bottles to Morrisons carpark or the household recycling centre at Street. Plastic items marked as type 1, 2 or 3 within the triangular recycling symbol are taken — which generally covers bottles of all sorts. Margarine tubs, vegetable and meat packaging and so on fall into types 4–7 and are not yet recycled.

Somerset recycled 40% of its waste in 2005–06, a doubling of the figure from four years before. A single seven-year contract is to be signed in October covering the whole county, replacing the present 10 separate contracts for waste and recycling for each district.

Local-government groups are lobbying supermarkets and producers to cut down at source on the amount of plastic waste.

In Canada, for years, retailers must charge a deposit on plastic bottles, and people can return them to where they bought them.