More than four tonnes of plastic bags and wrapping have been collected for recycling as part of Somerset Council’s role in a national project to expand recycling collections.
The small-scale pilot involving 3,600 homes across two locations in Frome started at the end of May and is already proving a success.
Residents in the trial areas are asked to put their flexible plastics, such as bread bags and confectionary packets, into a recyclable blue plastic bag for collection on their usual weekly recycling day.
Somerset Council put itself forward to be part of the £2.9m FlexCollect project which involves nine local authorities across England and is being managed in partnership with SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK.
The trial aims to inform government and industry on how plastic bags and wrapping should be added to existing household collection services. The full cost of the pilot service is funded by the Flexible Plastic Fund and the government. The only costs to the council are time and resources.
Somerset Cllr Dixie Darch, Assistant Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “As a county we are keen to take a leading role in changing the way we recycle, and help to keep a truly green and sustainable Somerset. Seeing our residents take up the opportunity to recycle more is great.
“We’ve seen more people than expected take part and I’d like to extend my thanks to the residents who are helping to prove that collecting soft plastics is worthwhile.”
Only those who were written to directly can take part. It is expected it will be expanded to more homes in Frome and across Somerset next year, following further monitoring of the trial.
Residents who are not part of the trial can take their plastic bags and wrapping to local recycling points, often found in supermarkets. Somerset’s Recycle Now search function can be used to find locations.