Adrian Griffiths quoted by Leslie Hook for the Financial Times

The Financial Times News Centre

“You can solve the problem in the oceans by solving the plastic problem on land,” said Adrian Griffiths, chief executive of Recycling Technologies.

An excerpt of the article can be read below:

Banning straws not enough to solve plastic pollution, May warned

The UK generates around 3.7m tonnes of plastic waste each year — of which around a third is recycled, with the rest going to landfill or incineration. Most of the recycled plastic is exported to recycling plants in developing countries, because the UK has limited recycling capacity. The amount of plastic recycled is limited by, for example, different rules between rubbish collection zones — the UK has more than 300 waste collection systems. And its system of recycling credits, known as “packaging recovery notes”, creates an incentive for waste to be exported, which can imply a higher environment footprint. “You can solve the problem in the oceans by solving the plastic problem on land,” said Adrian Griffiths, chief executive of Recycling Technologies, a Swindon-based manufacturer of plastic recycling systems. “If you make plastic valuable on land, it will stop people from throwing it into the oceans.”

But while the policy debate continues, plastic straws are already starting to disappear from the high street and shops. Consumers are shunning plastics and companies are vying to announce anti-plastic policies. Supermarket Morrisons has stopped sourcing plastic straws and plastic-stemmed coffee buds for its stores. Fast-food groups such as Pret are replacing plastic straws with paper straws in their shops from this summer. “It’s a very, very powerful issue . . . in the UK in particular. As we are an island nation, we all grow up fairly close to the oceans,” said Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of Sky. The broadcasting company recently launched a £25m venture fund to invest in plastics research and related start-ups, including looking at ways to take plastic out of the supply chain.

Read the full article on the Financial Times (requires subscription).

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