Town and Community Councils in Powys are introducing a new recycling scheme, developed by Welshpool-based charity Cae Post, to deal with unwanted plastic film.
Following the decision by Powys County Council to stop the collection and recycling of plastic film, waste and recycling experts Cae Post were approached by a number of Community and Town Councils to see if they could fill the gap.
Although Powys County Council no longer offers recycling collections for plastic film and suggests disposing of it with household refuse, stretchy plastic film items, such as carrier bags, magazine wrappers, bread bags, frozen food bags, cling film and bubble wrap, can be recycled.
Cae Post is working with eight councils in Powys, including Brecon Town Council, to roll out its new film recycling scheme and the results to date have been very encouraging.
Mayor of Brecon, Councillor Ieuan Williams, said: “We are delighted with the response to our new plastic film recycling point that has been set up outside the Co-op in Brecon. Although we were originally expecting to empty the bin once a month, demand has been so great that we are now emptying it at least once a fortnight. This shows that the people of Brecon recognise the importance of recycling plastic film and that there is a real need for the service. We would like to thank Cae Post for setting it up.”
John Harrington, Chair of Cae Post said: “We are pleased to be working with councils in Powys, such as Brecon Town Council, to manage plastic film recycling for their communities.
“The environmental impact of plastic film should not be underestimated. Studies suggest that plastic bags, for example, can take anywhere between 20 and 1,000 years to degrade, if they degrade at all in modern landfill sites. In fact, many countries around the world have now banned them. So, if we are going to use items made from plastic film, it is important that, as a society, we do what we can to recycle them.
“At Cae Post, we believe it is vital that these items do not end up in general waste and so we are pleased to offer a collection service for communities in Powys, as well as for businesses, charities and other organisations.”
While it is true that plastic film can be difficult and expensive to sort from other materials by mechanical means, Cae Post has maintained its manual sorting capacity and so is happy to offer this service.
John Harrington added: “As a charity and social enterprise, Cae Post has a mission to tackle disadvantage and create opportunity through environmental initiative. By using Cae Post to recycle plastic film, communities in Powys are helping us to fulfil our social objectives, providing work opportunities for disabled people and those who are disadvantaged in the jobs market.”
The other Community and Town Councils in Powys that are trialling the scheme include Banwy, Castle Caereinion, Dwyriw, Llangunllo, Llangynidr, Llanwrtyd Wells and Trewern.
If your community group or organisation would like to find out more about plastic film recycling in Powys, contact Cae Post on 01938 570426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.