Plastic food pots, tubs and trays can now be fully recycled for the first time across the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area.

Highbridge’s Isleport recycling centre is among Somerset’s 16 recycling sites that have just begun taking rigid plastic materials in their plastic bottle skips.

Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) announced this week that the Isleport recycling centre is now taking plastic food pots, tubs and trays – the rigid plastic containers for yoghurt, margarine, fruit and other foods – as well as all plastic bottles.

The organisation says the change is a “leap forward in the planned transformation of the county’s waste services towards the end of landfilling rubbish.”

The move to take rigid plastic food pots, tubs and trays – known as PTT – at the recycling sites follows successful trials of taking extra plastics in kerbside collections and at a small number of sites to check the quality and monitor levels of contamination from unwanted materials.

The plastic bottle and PTT skips will take black plastic food trays, but residents must remove all foil, film covers, and cardboard attached to or enclosing the PTT;
discard all lids, flip-caps and trigger-tops from plastic bottles, and rinse out food residues or other contents, and squash items to fit more in each skip.

Residents must also exclude: thin plastics, such as cling film, carrier bags, black sacks, or bubble wrap; plastic plant or paint pots, with or without any contents; other plastics, such as plastic toys, CD cases, garden furniture or car parts.

Highbridge’s Isleport recycling centre is open Mondays from 8am – 7pm; Thursdays through to Saturdays from 8am – 4pm; and Sundays from 8am – 1pm.

Nick Cater, a SWP spokesman, said: “Taking plastic food pots, tubs and trays at all recycling sites is a big step forward. We are working with councils, companies, campaigning groups and schools to help people cut their waste by using less plastic and recycling far more of the plastic they buy when shopping.”

He added: “We have never collected plastic food pots, tubs and trays at the kerbside; if any have been taken in the past, it was an error (or in a very successful time-limited location-specific trial).”

“We collect all household plastic bottles – milk to shampoo, bleach to juice – at the kerbside and at all recycling sites.”

“We plan to take plastic food pots, tubs and trays weekly at the kerbside, in addition to all existing recycled materials, in a phased roll-out from 2020 once a new collections contract has been negotiated and a new fleet of recycling vehicles built, and collect the far emptier rubbish bins every three weeks.”

Earlier this year, 12 of Somerset’s 16 recycling sites began taking single use coffee cups, with their layers of plastic and card, in the same skips that already take beverage cartons, such as Tetra Pak and other brands. Details of all recycling sites, including opening hours and what materials each site takes, are here.