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Maldon District Council Launches Flexible Plastic (FPF) FlexCollect Trial

Published on Wednesday, 4th January 2023

Maldon FlexCollect Trial press release image

Over 6,500 homes in the Maldon District are to be part of new plastic bags and wrapping recycling pilot from January 2023.

Maldon District Council has been chosen to take part in a major pilot project for the collection of plastic bags and wrapping as part of normal recycling collections. Plastics such as plastic bags, confectionary wrappers, foil lined packaging, plastic film, bubble wrap, pet food pouches and more will be collected from approximately 6,500 households.

The new service will begin in January 2023 with selected households from across the Maldon District taking part. The initial trial will include a variety of family sizes and housing types and those selected to take part will be sent information on how to use the new plastic bags and wrapping collection service together with collection bags before the service starts.

This is the first year of a three-year trial which, if successful, will be expanded in October 2023, eventually rolling out to all households in the District by the end of 2024.

Plastic bags and wrapping are a considerable challenge as they represented 22% of all UK consumer plastic packaging in 2020 but only 8% was recycled. At present, the only way to recycle plastic bags and wrapping is at supermarket front of store collection points. This trial will help change that by helping to make recycling plastic bags and wrapping more convenient for everyone which will increase the amount of packaging that the UK recycles.

Councillor Penny Channer, Leader of Maldon District Council said, “I am extremely pleased that our District has been chosen to be part of this trial, and the only authority in Essex to be chosen so far. This trial is another step towards making the District more environmentally sustainable and reducing our carbon footprint through the reduction of plastics going to landfill.

“While this is only a trial at the moment, I look forward to seeing this scheme rolled out to all residents by the end of 2024. I would like to thank officers in our Waste Services team at Maldon District Council, our waste collection contractor, SUEZ UK, and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), for their work in bringing this exciting scheme to the Maldon District.”

Households not included in the trial can still dispose of plastic bags and wrapping by taking them to local supermarkets across the Maldon District.

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Notes to editor

Flexible Plastic Fund (FPF) FlexCollect is a £2.9m pilot to collect and recycle flexible plastic packaging from households in the UK. Initiated and led by the Flexible Plastic Fund (FPF), and including some of the UK’s leading manufacturers, the project benefits from the cross-industry expertise of leading industry and government partners, including Defra, Ecosurety, UK Research and Innovation Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (UKRI SSPP), SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, RECOUP, LARAC, WRAP and Zero Waste Scotland.

The other local authorities that are part of the project announced to date include South Gloucestershire Council and Cheltenham Borough Council.

About The Flexible Plastic Fund

The Flexible Plastic Fund is a collaborative fund giving value to flexible plastic films so they are properly recycled. Managed by market-leading producer responsibility compliance scheme Ecosurety and supported by environmental charity Hubbub, the Fund was established in May 2021 by five founding partners: Mars UK, Mondel─ôz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever. Partners of the Fund now also include Abel & Cole, Ella’s Kitchen, The Collective, Kiddylicious, Koninklijke Douwe Egberts, KP Snacks, McCain Foods, Tilda, United Biscuits, Vitaflo, Yeo Valley Farms, Lotus Bakeries, Natural Balance Foods, Ocado Retail and WARP Snacks. In collaboration with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, the Fund intends to improve flexible plastic recycling and reduce plastic pollution by giving the material a stable value. This will in turn increase the supply of recycled plastic for the industry to become more ‘circular’. This will motivate investment in much needed jobs and infrastructure to make flexible plastic recycling a financially sustainable system in the UK. Through supporting the Flexible Plastic Fund, partners will contribute to system-wide progress driving towards household collection of this valuable material and ultimately closing the loop on flexible plastic production. Find out more: