Homes join plastic bag recycling scheme

HOMES in Downend and Mangotsfield, Hambrook and Soundwell are among 20,000 which will be included in an expanded scheme to take plastic bags and wrapping as part of kerbside recycling collections.

South Gloucestershire Council is expanding its participation in the FPF FlexCollect project, a national scheme to recycle soft plastics, to cover around one in every five homes in the district.

The scheme started in 2022 with pilot collections from 2,000 homes in Chipping Sodbury, Bradley Stoke, Olveston and Alveston.

A council spokesperson said that since then, more than 19 tonnes of plastic bags and wrappers – enough to fill more than 7,000 standard council wheelie bins – had been collected across the district and sent to several different UK facilities to test recycling methods.

Packaging that can be recycled includes sweet, crisp and multipack wrappers, sleeves from plastic bottles, cheese, meat and microwavable food packets, bubble wrap, cling film and plastic net bags for onions, oranges and other fruit and veg.

The authority said it could not share a full list of the streets involved in the extension of the project, as not all homes on some longer streets would be included in the trial.

Those households which are included in the expansion were due to be given information leaflets over the coming weeks, followed by blue plastic bags to put their waste soft plastics in. The bags will be hand-delivered, with residents encouraged to ask deliverers about the scheme if they have any questions.

The scheme does not affect the existing collections for plastic trays and containers.

The council aims to see how large-scale soft plastic recycling works, to help plan for future collections across the country. It plans to extend the service to all households in South Gloucestershire by 2026.

Another trial project, to collect grass cuttings and use them to generate energy, is being extended to Staple Hill and Mangotsfield this year.

The project, called Greenprint, involves collecting grass cut from verges, parks and other green spaces, rather than leaving it on the ground.

It is then mixed with food waste collected from homes and taken to an energy plant to create biogas using a process called anaerobic digestion, where the waste is broken down in the absence of oxygen.