The Flexible Plastic Fund – Recycling the Unrecyclable

The Flexible Plastic Fund is a brand new initiative, introduced to help boost flexible plastic recycling in the UK. Recycling is a vital step towards supporting a circular economy & living a more eco-friendly life. Recycling plastics takes 88% less energy than making new from raw materials while helping reducing fossil fuel consumption. Although most plastics can be successfully recycled time and time again, there is a small minority of flexible, soft, scrunchy, film, bags and wrapping plastics that would usually be labeled un-recyclable…until now.

Flexible packaging is a very valuable resource in many different ways, this new scheme has introduced a new innovative way to recycle this type of material, which was formerly deemed un-recyclable. The Flexible Plastic Fund will bring retailers, manufacturers, recyclers & individuals together, to help keep these resources within the circular economy.

Five of the UK’s largest brands: Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever, have developed the new 1 million pound recycling fund to make flexible plastic recycling economically viable for recyclers and easier for consumers.

The Flexible Plastic Fund wants to incentivise flexible plastic recycling as quickly as possible. In 2019, the UK produced over 300,000* tonnes of flexible plastic packaging (which is about 22%* of all UK consumer plastic waste). Currently, only 6% of flexible plastics, like films, packaging, and bags are recycled, the goal is to improve this with the introduction of the new fund. To achieve this, Ecosurety and the founding partners created a concept to involve everyone in the flexible plastic supply chain. This includes retailers, recyclers, and manufacturers using this form of packaging to create a transparent system that incentivises high-quality recycling of a material that has historically gone to waste. The Fund is driving towards the long-term ambitions of ensuring flexible plastic recycling is UK-based, fully circular, and facilitated by household collections.

As a supplier, manufacturer, and recycler/reprocessor within the plastic industry, the new fund has gripped our attention. Currently, we offer a Polythene Recovery Service which facilitates the collection of used polythene packaging from customers and helps keep this valuable resource in the circular economy. This plastic recycling scheme already incorporates several types of flexible packaging, but now with the new fund, we are hoping to broaden our capabilities even further – always striving towards meeting our mission of being the most resourceful company in plastics.

It is everyone’s job to handle our waste responsibly, recycling all items which can be. Now with the introduction of The Flexible Plastic Fund, waste management capabilities have been amplified and we can now recycle the un-recyclable.