Labour call on council to drop proposal to end plastics recycling collection in Swindon

By Ben Fitzgerald - 3 October 2018

CommunityPolitics

The Swindon Labour Group has called on Swindon Council’s ruling Conservative administration to abandon their proposal to end plastic recycling collection.

The council consultation on this policy proposal can be found here: https://www.sustainableswindon.co.uk/what-we-propose-to-do

The Swindon Labour Group is opposed to this for the following reasons:

  • The Government’s recycling rate target is 50% by 2020. The Council’s current recycling rate is 38% and ending plastics recycling collection would reduce Swindon’s recycling rate further. 
  • There are only 3 local authorities in the country that currently do not collect plastics as a recycling product- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45496884. Swindon would become the fourth against the overwhelming number of local authorities that continue to collect recyclable plastics.
  • The council actively encouraging people to put plastics in the general waste will discourage residents to actively recycle other recycling products the Council will continue to collect. 
  • The council say plastics recycling is delivered to Thamesdown Recycling and then exported to various South East Asian markets where it may or may not be recycled. Thamesdown Recycling have said that most of Swindon’s plastics are NOT being sent abroad to an uncertain fate. This calls in to question the whole rationale behind this proposal.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Jim Grant, said:

“The Labour Group strongly object to the Council’s proposal to scrap plastics recycling collection. When Swindon already has a terrible recycling rate, we think this decision is a further backward step.

While other Councils are introducing food waste collection and increasing their recycling rates, Swindon is going to become only the fourth council in the country not to collect plastic recycling. The decision is in complete contrast to what is happening across the country. 

I should imagine when they hear about this policy, local residents will rightly be questioning the point in them putting effort into recycling when their local Council is just going to burn plastic? This proposal sends a terrible message about the value of recycling. 

The reality is that this is just another cost-cutting, austerity measure. But their proposal is misguided and not based on the facts according to the company who actually deals with our plastics recycling. We would urge the Conservative administration to drop this ill-thought, retrograde step.”

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