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Cromwell’s Dictionary of Waste Management and Recycling

The world of waste management and recycling is full of terminology and initiatives, some of which are more well known than others. As the industry develops and new schemes are introduced, as is new vocabulary explaining the meaning behind these. Cromwell have devised a short dictionary, to explain some of the jargon that you may have heard in the waste and recycling world:

What is a Circular Economy - Cromwell Explains and Supports

Cromwell Dictionary – The Circular Economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. 


Cromwell Dictionary – The Plastic Packaging Tax is a new chargeable initiative where a tax will apply to plastic packaging where the recycled content is less than 30%. The tax will apply to UK manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging. 


Cromwell Dictionary – The Waste Hierarchy is a 6-step process, often displayed in a pyramid style, to provide guidance for best waste disposal practices – encouraging users to work their way down the pyramid from #Reduce to #Disposal.  


Cromwell Dictionary – Consistency in collections is a step-change in household recycling being introduced in 2023. As part of the Circular Economy Package, the UK needs to achieve a 65% municipal recycling rate by 2035 – one way the government aims to meet this is by introducing consistent collection services throughout all local authorities. Bringing together local authorities, the waste management industry, and retailers to increase the quantity and quality of material collected for recycling.


Cromwell Dictionary – Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility – financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. In the field of waste management, extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a strategy to add all of the environmental costs associated with a product throughout the product life cycle to the market price of that product.


Chrush Your Recycling Before Putting in Correct bin

Cromwell Dictionary – Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) work by adding a small extra deposit on the price of drinks sold in plastic and glass bottles and cans, which the consumer gets back once they’ve returned the container for recycling. 


Cromwell Dictionary – The Scrunch Test is a method that can be used to determine if a material can be recycled or not. The straightforward test involves screwing up discarded wrapping paper and checking whether it holds the shape – If the paper remains scrunched, it can be #recycled. 


Cromwell Dictionary – The Green Dot is the financing symbol for the organisation of recovery, sorting and recycling of sales packaging. When you see the Green Dot on packaging it means that for such packaging, a financial contribution has been paid to a qualified national packaging recovery organisation. 


Cromwell Dictionary – Polymers are very long molecules, made by joining many ‘building block’  molecules into a chain Different ‘building blocks’ create different chains – with different properties. Polymers come in two forms, thermoplastics and thermosets.