This new scheme called Bag2Bag is part of a collection service run by Veolia, Southwark Council’s waste management provider.
Eight billion plastic bags are disposed of in England every year which poses an environmental challenge. By reusing the plastic material to make new plastic sacks Veolia is closing the loop on precious resources that can be saved.
How it works: Shopping bags are collected at a new recycling point at Southwark’s RRC. Once enough have been collected, they are reprocessed by CeDo, a leading plastics manufacturer, using innovative technology. Here, they are washed and shredded into pellets, which are then blown into bubbles of plastic film to form new bags. Over the next three months, Southwark residents on the service will start to receive the first set of recycled refuse sacks that have been generated from plastic bags from the borough.
Richard Kirkman, Technical Director for Veolia said: ‘With this new trial, we’ve been able to reprocess 1000 tonnes of plastic bags and recycle them into 500,000 refuse sacks to distribute to Southwark residents. This is a great example of how Veolia and the residents of Southwark are contributing to the circular economy and if this trial is successful; we hope to roll this out to other local authorities and Veolia sites.’
Darren Mosley, Commercial Sales Director for CeDo said: ‘We are delighted to be working with Veolia on this project. We have an opportunity to deliver genuine innovation to the residents of Southwark by utilising previously unusable waste and turning it back into useful second life product.’
Fabrice Bouchon, General Manager for Veolia in Southwark said: ‘Plastic bags should be reused as much as possible, although once bags have come to the end of their usefulness, if they are brought to the RRC, they can be recycled to be distributed out to the 9,300 properties on Southwark Housing estates that receive refuse sacks due to a lack of space for bins.’
Councillor Darren Merrill cabinet member for recycling and environment, said: “Plastic bags are rarely collected by other local authorities so I’m glad to be working with our waste partners, Veolia, to deliver on our commitment to send fewer materials to landfill.”