Cornwall Council to roll out mixed-plastic collections Duchy wide.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet has made the decision on Wednesday to roll out mixed plastic collection to the whole of Cornwall. This follows on from the successful trail of 46,000 households that the area I represent was part of. As a resident, I believe this is the right thing to do.

I was very happy to second the proposal that my fellow Cabinet Member, Joyce Duffin who put forward a series of proposals at Cabinet. Which you will be pleased to know were approved. Huge credit must go to Joyce, all the officers of the Council and our waste contractors Biffa and Suez for making the trail work and to have a clear plan for a Cornwall wide roll-out.

I started to collect the mixed-plastics to see the scale of plastics that prior to the trail would go to landfill. I planned to do this for six-months, but had to recycle after four because the sheer bulk of mix-plastics; and I am a household of one adult and child. As the following picture will show.

This roll-out will commence from March 2017 and will take around nine months to fully implement the scheme. It takes this long to roll it out due to the lead time of the extra bags that will be required; and to make sure the right information is sent to households in those areas that it is being rolled out to. Those areas in the trail will continue in the meantime to have their mixed-plastics collected. So if you are not in the trail, please do not start to recycle mixed-plastics till you have been informed.

Analyses have shown that roughly 6.6% of the overall recycling received in the trail areas is mixed-plastics. Of that 6.6%, 22% is plastic pots, tubs and trays and 78% is plastic bottles. The good news is there has been a 20.51% increase in recycling tonnage (556.97 tonnes) compared to the same period to the last year. Furthermore, it is estimated that the plastic pots, tubs and trays collected represent 2.08% of the overall tonnage of the area during the seven-months of the trail.

Further good news is on modelling the plastic pits, tubs and trays, and the additional materials collected there has been an increase of the kerbside recycling rate from 18.86% to 22.33%.  When this scheme is rolled out to the whole of Cornwall our kerbside recycling rate will rise from 35% to 37%. In tonnage terms this equates to 4,800. A positive improvement, but we still have to go a long way to do more in reducing waste going to landfill.


  • Can you now please look at collecting tetra cartons, they make up nearly half my weekly rubbish!

  • Jan Lynch

    Excellent news, Having moved down here 8 years ago from Essex I was horrified by the lack of recycling in comparison. Households will need to be provided with either bigger bags or a weekly service though, as even as a single person my bag can sometimes be overflowing in the two weeks. Food Waste would also be a good development, I know this is done in many areas of the UK, and would further reduce my non recyclable waste.

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