Suffolk Village of the Year 2023

Plastics Recycling

Over the last few months there have been various reports in the national press about recycling of different plastics, including stories of China no longer accepting shipments. These have been further highlighted by concerns about plastics in the world’s oceans.

During 2017 China announced that from January 2018 it would no longer accept mixed plastics or fibre (paper and cardboard) with contamination levels greater than 1.5%, and Waitrose announced it would be phasing out black plastic trays because they were not being recycled.

The Suffolk Waste Partnership can reassure residents that in Suffolk our collection and sorting arrangements can successfully recycle all of the plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays from the blue bins, including black items. Sorting of our blue bin contents is both mechanical and manual, and aims to remove contamination before these sorted materials are sold on to re-processors in the UK and abroad, including China. In Suffolk we are very good at this and have dry recycling rates amongst the very best in the country. The current markets for recycled materials are more demanding than ever before, and reducing levels of contamination is becoming increasingly important.

To ensure the best quality, blue bin contents should be clean, dry and loose (not bagged). Please put the right things in your blue bin, we like plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, but not plastic film or hard plastics such as garden items and toys. The blue bin sorting systems can now deal with waxed cartons (tetrapaks), aerosols, all aluminium cans and trays (including foil), tins and metal pots, pans and trays, and all paper and card. Even more materials, including hard plastic and plastic film, and all electrical items, can be recycled through Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs). For full details please visit

Glass and textiles should not be put in the blue bin, but can be taken to HWRC’s, and in Cockfield you can also help your community by taking them to the ‘bring banks’ in the Village Hall car park, where you can also take paper, tins and cans.

Please do as much as you can, and rest assured that here in Suffolk we sussessfully sort and recycle everything we can.

Clive Arthey
District Councillor


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