Figures released this week show that 52 per cent of all plastic bottles are now recycled, reports resource.uk.com.

The statistics were revealed by plastic recycling company Recoup, which announced the figure at its annual meeting. It means 306,000 tonnes – or 6.7 million bottles – were placed into recycling bins in 2011.

Stuart Foster, Recoup’s chief executive, said he had hoped to announce the milestone sooner; however he claimed it had not been possible due to the slow-down of the recycling rate in recent years.

Mr Foster said Recoup is now looking into ways to find how the other 48 per cent of bottles can be recycled, with the recycling target for 2017 set as 57 per cent. He said the company is also looking into ways to improve collaboration with the supply chain, as well as influencing the behaviour of consumers.

It is thought that any systems put in place will have to be economically viable and sustainable for the long term. Recoup has also questioned whether the current recycling infrastructure is currently sufficient, especially if the amount of recycling rate increases again.

As well as the bottles, over 120 tonnes of plastic packaging – such as tubs, trays and pots – collected from households were recycled last year. This is an increase from the 76,300 tonnes that were collected in 2010, according to letsrecycle.com.

Recoup has stated that it hopes to reveal more detailed behaviour in its November report. 

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