Plastic bags and wrapping to be collected from homes in recycling trial

Published: Wed 14 February, 2024

A picture of a hand placing a range of flexible plastic - carrier bags and packets - into a purple bin liner. These purple sacks will be used to collect flexible plastic from households on a trial.

More than 6,500 homes in North West Leicestershire will be able to recycle plastic bags with their normal recycling as part of a national trial.

North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) has been chosen as the eighth council in England to take part in a major project to pilot the collection of plastic bags and wrapping at the kerbside. The council will launch the trial for selected streets in the Coalville and Greenhill area, along with some rural households.

Plastics such as carrier bags, sweet wrappers, crisp packets, plastic film, bubble wrap, pet food pouches and more will be collected from approximately 6,500 households.

The new service will start on 13 March for selected homes on a Wednesday collection day, including a variety of housing types. Those on the trial will receive information on how to use the new plastic bags and wrapping collection service, together with purple collection bags before the service starts.

Plastic bags and wrapping are a considerable challenge as they represented 22% of all UK consumer plastic packaging in 2020 but only 8% was recycled.

Currently, the only way to recycle plastic bags and wrapping in North West Leicestershire is at supermarket collection points. This trial will help change that by making recycling plastic bags and wrapping more convenient, increasing the amount of packaging the UK recycles.

By 2027 the government will require all councils to collect the packaging at the kerbside. By taking part in the trial, NWLDC is able to explore how the service could operate.

The trial is part of a larger £2.9m Flexible Plastic Fund ‘FlexCollect’ project, which involves nine local authorities across England, and aims to inform government and industry on how plastic bags and wrapping should be added to existing recycling collection services.

Councillor Michael Wyatt, NWLDC Portfolio Holder for Community and Climate Change, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for us to trial the collection of plastic wrapping and support the future of collections across the country.

“We’ve selected areas in Coalville, Greenhill and more rural parts of the district to make sure we have different types of homes taking part. The system has been designed to be as simple as possible, with packs of bags provided to households that can be put out with their red boxes and blue bags.”