Final two local authorities join FPF FlexCollect

North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) and Bracknell Forest Council are the last two local authorities to join the Flexible Plastic Fund (FPF) FlexCollect flexible plastic collection project. 

With the addition of these two final local authorities, there is a total of nine local authorities and over 46,000 households across the UK participating in the FPF FlexCollect project. Expansions are planned for summer 2024, which will increase the number of households covered by the pilots even more. 

NWLDC started its pilot collections on 11 March, enabling 6,500 households to collect flexible plastic bags, sachets, packets, and wrapping and recycle these fortnightly alongside their other kerbside recycling boxes. 

The pilot in Bracknell Forest, managed in partnership with Re3, started collections on 18 March and includes 10,000 households across the area. 

As the largest kerbside collection and recycling pilot in the UK, FPF FlexCollect includes households across a variety of areas and demographics, to understand how to best implement effective communications and increase household participation.  

Sharing valuable insights

With the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) from 2025 and Simpler Recycling reforms in March 2027, the FPF FlexCollect project provides meaningful insights for the flexible plastic packaging value chain to prepare it for mandatory kerbside collections.  

In January 2024, FPF FlexCollect released an Interim Report, authored by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK. It shares the results and insights from the seven kerbside collection pilots at the project’s halfway point. These encouraging results will help local authorities, packaging producers, the plastic industry, policymakers and the waste and resource management industry prepare for UK-wide collections.  

Increasing opportunities

Gareth Morton, FPF representative and Discovery Manager at Ecosurety commented: “It’s great to complete our intended quota of pilots which will give us unparalleled insights into the collection of post-consumer flexible plastic packaging across different areas, service types and socio-demographics. The next stage is to scale up collections and ramp up recycling trials and the end market exploration work.”    

Councillor Michael Wyatt, NWLDC Portfolio Holder for Community and Climate Change, said: "This is a brilliant opportunity for us to trial the collection of plastic wrapping and support the future of collections across the country." 

"We’ve selected areas in Coalville, Greenhill and more rural parts of the district to make sure we have different types of homes taking part. The system has been designed to be as simple as possible, with packs of bags provided to households that can be put out with their red boxes and blue bags.” 

Cllr Helen Purnell, Bracknell Forest Council’s Executive Member for the Environment and Community Cohesion commented: "We are delighted to announce the trial in Bracknell Forest, offering 10,000 households the opportunity to participate and contribute to this important initiative. Plastic bags and wrapping pose a significant challenge to the industry, and their recycling is limited to supermarket front-of-store collection points."

About the Flexible Plastic Fund

The FPF FlexCollect project is delivered by a team comprising Ecosurety, RECOUP, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK and WRAP.  

The project is voluntarily funded by the FPF, Defra, UK Research & Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge delivered by Innovate UK, and Zero Waste Scotland.  

The FPF is a collaborative fund established in May 2021 by five founding partners: Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever. Partners of the Fund now include Abel & Cole, Ella’s Kitchen, Kiddylicious, Koninklijke Douwe Egberts, KP Snacks, Lotus Bakeries, McCain Foods, Natural Balance Foods, Ocado Retail, pladis, The Collective, and Vitaflo. 

Visit the Flexible Plastic Fund website to find out more.

Written by Louise Shellard Published 20/03/2024 Topics Ecosurety
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