A review of the current status of the household plastic film packaging recycling supply chain, incorporating collection options and emerging markets.

Key points

  • 1.1 million tonnes of plastic film consumed in the UK each year. This is approximately 44% of all plastic packaging. Approximately 560,000 tonnes of this is consumer plastic film.
  • Despite various initiatives plastic film remains a highly visible component of the household residual waste stream that is only currently captured at low levels for recycling.
  • The Plasflow 2017 study found consumer film and rigid plastic packaging to be two of the largest untapped sources of recyclable plastic.


This document is intended to inform local authorities and other collectors of the challenges associated with sorting and recycling household plastic film.

It includes background information on the material and quantities arising as waste in the UK, an overview of existing collection approaches and sections on the challenges and emerging opportunities associated with sorting, reprocessing and establishing UK markets for this material.


  • Introduction
  • What is household plastic film?
  • Collection
  • Sorting
  • Reprocessing
  • Market
  • Implications for Local Authorities
  • Glossary

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  • Collection and recycling of household plastic film packaging

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