Plastics Recycling charity, RECOUP, supported by Dart Europe, Klöckner Pentaplast, and Plastipak collected On-the-Go post-consumer Expanded Polystyrene Trays and Cups and PET drinks bottles at the Welsh Airshow in Swansea.
The public were given the option to separate the food and general waste and then place the polystyrene cups and trays and drinks bottles for recycling. The food waste was destined for composting in a move to reduce the amount of general waste from the weekend to landfill. The polystyrene (after washing) was sent to Moulded Foams in Blackwood to be incorporated into thermal flooring blocks for the construction industry. All PET bottles collected were sent to Clean Tech to be recycled into new drinks bottles.
Anne Sutton, Director Global Innovation & Regional Manager, Government Affairs & Environment Department at Dart Products Europe says; ‘Last year’s event attracted more than 250,000 visitors and we are proud to be part of this great initiative which clearly demonstrates that EPS can and is being recycled into products such as catering trays and thermal flooring blocks, locally in Wales’.
Speaking about the activation, Klöckner Pentaplast, Global Sustainability Director, Lubna Edwards commented, “EPS has extremely strong environmental credentials and excels in terms of functionality, particularly for hot food packaging. It is a superb material that keeps food safe and fresh. By visitors helping to collect this valuable material we can retain this resource and recycle it into more beneficial products.”
Recycling at these dedicated points will give visitors to the show the opportunity to do their bit for the environment when eating and drinking on the go and enabling plastic packaging to be recycled into new products instead of ending up in landfill. The activation also included some litter picking with the RECOUP team and volunteers assisting Swansea Council to keep the beach and seafront clear from litter.
Stuart Foster, CEO of RECOUP, added “everyone is aware of the need to recycle more plastics and protect the environment. This is a fantastic example of producers taking responsibility by asking for their plastic packaging back through dedicated collection systems, so they can make better use of the resources, and consumers taking responsibility by using those collection points and not littering. Even better, the collected material from Wales will be recycled in Wales – circular economy in action”
Consumers were asked to look for the Pledge2Recycle Plastics flags which will be flying where polystyrene and plastic bottle recycling can take place. RECOUP also ran an education roadshow over the event weekend showcasing items that can be made from recycled plastics and explaining the plastic recycling journey. This provided an opportunity to discuss with the visitors to the show the benefits of recycling plastic packaging and to have individual conversations to encourage visitors to recycle plastic both when eating and drinking on-the-go and at home.
Cromwell Polythene, an independent, family-run business, also supported the activation by donating their products to help contain the recycling. Richard Rowling, Business Development Manager, added “We at Cromwell Polythene were proud to support RECOUP’s waste and recycling initiative at the Swansea Welsh Air Show by supplying bags made from either recycled or compostable material”.