Hong Kong's refusal means plastic recycling is now costing money
PLASTIC recycling is now costing Swansea Council money because they can no longer send it to Hong Kong.
But residents are being urged by the local authority to continue recycling their waste, rather than send it to landfill sites.
They are also being urged to make sure it is clean - or it will end up in landfill anyway, at a cost to the council and, effectively, taxpayers.
Thousands of pink bags are collected from the kerbside every week and sorted by hand at the city’s baling plant at Llansamlet.
The council said pink bags should be used for plastic bottles — with lids removed — yoghurt pots, plastic bags, margarine and ice cream tubs, bubble wrap, and unused cling film.
But crisp packets, dirty plastic items and larger ones like toys or garden furniture should instead be taken direct to the baling plant.
In 2012, the authority received up to £75 per tonne for waste plastics. Much of it went overseas to Hong Kong.
But the receiving countries are not accepting plastic at present, forcing the authority to look for re-processors within Britain.
In response to a question from opposition councillors, Councillor June Burtonshaw, cabinet member for place. said: “These British companies will take our plastic but at a cost.
“This cost varies between £35 and £140 per tonne depending on the quality and consistency of the plastics.
“Furthermore the companies prepared to take our plastic do require the authority to undertake a degree of pre-sorting prior to sending, and this again increases the costs to the council.”