A Yorkshire-based natural health brand has launched a petition demanding a unified approach to waste plastic collection and recycling.
BetterYou has been urging the government to reclaim ownership of the nation’s plastic waste.
The petition demands a single and universally adopted recycling programme which every local authority should sign-up to.
The petitioner has been calling for a programme that is standardised, independently monitored, and publicly reviewed annually.
The demand proposes that all local authorities are governed, monitored, and reviewed equally, upholding an agreed best practice programme for collection and recycling.
According to a recent study by community interest company Everyday Plastic, increased online ordering during Covid-19 has meant that household plastic consumption has risen but with no coherent recycling policy there is no telling where this waste is ending up.
BetterYou founder and managing director, Andrew Thomas, says “There is no synergy, no clarity and certainly no universal performance standard to be measured by within the UK’s current recycling policy. Many of us diligently separate our waste plastics, yet this very waste may still be contributing to an environmental disaster on a scale never seen before.”
Less than half of all recyclable household plastic waste in the UK is actually recycled, with up to 80 per cent of material collected for recycling being sent abroad, to landfill or burned.
A 2019 YouGov poll called ‘confusing rules’ as one of the biggest issues keeping Brits from recycling effectively, with one in twenty saying they won’t recycle anymore, unless they’re assured that items sent for recycling are actually recycled and not sent to landfill.
Current government policy lacks the transparency needed to create an effective recycling lifecycle and despite a national appetite for recycling and reducing waste, many people have never been more confused over what plastic their council will or will not recycle.
Each council has their own plastic recycling policy, with the types of plastic considered recyclable, varying from one authority to another.
The BBC recently reported that in the 12 months to March 2019, 50 councils incinerated more than half of the household rubbish they collected, including plastic and paper. Amongst the worst offenders was Westminster council, which burned 82 per cent of all household rubbish.
What’s more, Rotherham council only started collecting household plastic last year, following pressure from a public petition.
“I believe that the incomprehensible and poorly communicated ways in which recycling is collected across the UK has unsurprisingly reduced the public’s compliance to plastic recycling – if you make a process confusing enough, people will eventually stop doing it,” Thomas said.
“Our government is not acting decisively enough to ensure more of our waste plastic is collected and recycled, so we must insist that local and national government work together towards a more effective and self-sustaining plastic recycling programme to reduce and start to repair our environmental impact.
“That’s why our newly launched Plastic Petition is so important.”
The company launched last year ‘The Better Planet Project’, an initiative that focuses on targeting all aspects of its environmental footprint.
BetterYou now invites the British public to join its endeavour to build a better planet and by standing for change and signing the petition, the brand believes the nation can reclaim the ownership of plastic waste.
A petition which generates 100,000 signatures must be debated in parliament.