The organization said the new guideline provided by Wrap today will help change the number of plastic bags and make recyclable wrap in supermarkets.
Guidance aims to provide consistent collections for a wide variety of flexible plastic packaging and to help further deflect from the landscape or incinerator.
The new guideline makes sense by the end of this year, when the vast majority of the population will be able to pick up plastic bags of all kinds, sort them at their local supermarkets and collect them for recycling. This includes salad bags, crisp pockets, biscuit wrappers, bread bags and frozen food bags.
Less than 20% of local authorities collect plastic bags and wrap them as part of their carbide recycling services.
Wrap said until carbide collections of flexible plastic packaging became widespread – at the moment its time is being consulted by the government – a significant portion of the public would like to move such items to a supermarket recycling site.
The new guideline outlines the best practice for introducing and refining existing collections and for recycling stores to collect all kinds of plastic bags and wrap them for everyday items.
Although many supermarkets offer front recycling points for single plastic (polythene) made carrier bags and other bags, there is widespread confusion among shoppers about whether flexible plastic packaging can be recycled.
Guidance includes calls for language stability and ease of use. It also highlights that packaging design plays an important role and urges businesses to move packaging to a simpler ‘mono-material’ design.
In March, Tesco announced that 171 stores would be collecting all kinds of plastic bags and wrapping them across the southwest of England and Wales, and plans to take them to all stores across the country. Sainsbury’s has been making successful collections in the Northeast, with a full release expected by the end of this year. Other supermarkets, including 51 co-op stores across the Southeast, are also conducting tests.
Before all types of plastic bags and wrapping became more widely accepted, many supermarkets were already accepting certain types. These include soft stretched plastic used for carrier bags, frozen food bags, bread bags and toilet roll wrap.
“With the UK plastic deal, I am pleased that the proportion of the population that can recycle plastic bags of all kinds and wrap in supermarkets is increasing, and we expect it to be widely available by the end of this year,” said Marcus Cover, CEO of Wrap.
Ian Ferguson, Cooperative Environmental Manager, added: “Our own tests show that shoppers support simple solutions to these everyday problems through accessible disposal methods and clear messaging. We welcome career guidance that is designed to make recycling easier for consumers. ”