A High Street retailer’s fun toy incorporating plastic recycled from beach litter has highlighted the huge potential for reusing recovered resources in new products, according to the plastics recycler involved in the project.
Axion Polymers processed a total of 88kg assorted plastics collected from six UK beaches in last year’s Big Beach Clean-Up organised by the Marine Conservation Society and Marks & Spencer, which has been used in their Beach Clean Frisbee.
Extensive testing at Axion’s Salford facility proved it was possible to recycle rigid plastic debris, such as small toys and bottle tops, back into new products.
Axion Director Keith Freegard commented: "We applaud M&S for their efforts. Plastic from litter back into new products is clearly an interesting approach, yet it’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the massive opportunity that exists to use recyclates from all sources – be that end of life products from waste disposal points or collected litter – in new consumer goods.
"Reduction in littering is a key issue, but just as important is the need for a wholesale shift to a circular flow of materials based around a strong UK economy where all plastics used for products are captured, efficiently reprocessed and reused for manufacturing new ones."
Keith added: "We look forward to a future where more than 75% of retailers’ products contain over 75% recycled content from materials captured and manufactured within the UK and Europe."
Axion Polymers is part of the Axion Group that develops and operates innovative resource recovery and processing solutions for recycling waste materials. The Group works with a wide range of clients within the recycling and process industries on the practical development of new processing and collection methods.