A ‘Bin-Win’ situation: New campaign at London Festival showcases how Innovative UK business recycles previously unrecyclable plastic

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Unique bins being trialled at Barclaycard presents British Summertime Festival in Hyde Park to help revellers recycle troublesome plastics like bags, crisp wrappers and bottle lids they bring on site.

Tuesday 9th July, 2019 (London, UK) – A new campaign is helping festival-goers to be even more environmentally minded this summer – thanks to unique British recycling technology that allows us to recycle previously unrecyclable plastic.

Single-use plastic is a hot topic around the festival season, as revellers leave behind mounds of unrecyclable plastic at music sites every year, of which a large amount is single-use food wrappers. Sixty British festivals have even pledged to go single-use free by 2021[1] – but outright bans don’t address the issue of what people bring on site and what to do with these often unrecyclable plastic items to keep them out of landfill and the eco-system.

A UK entrepreneur has an answer – and, with support from Barclays, it is proving to festival-goers this summer that many more plastics can be recycled, thanks to its patented technology.

Recycling Technologies – a tech-forward entrepreneurial company based in Swindon – has teamed up with Barclays to install 25 unique recycling bins at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, to collect and recycle almost all of the previously unrecyclable plastic that is brought onto site by the public[2]. The special recycling bins will be on-site from 8th-11th July 2019, to support the festival’s already strong, recycling efforts; with staff helping to direct festival-goers to the recycling points.

From snack packets to pots, plastic bags to bottle caps, these bins will accept various forms of previously unrecyclable plastic, which will then be taken to Swindon and turned into ‘Plaxx’, a raw material used to create more usable – and importantly reusable or recyclable – plastic items.

The bins are being trialled at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Festival to show the technology’s potential at a large-scale event, but it has applications anywhere single-use plastic is used and discarded.

If every recycling centre in the UK used Recycling Technologies machines, the percentage of plastic waste that is recycled in the UK would go from c10%[3] towards 90%[4]

The campaign hopes to collect 4400 litres of plastic at the festival, saving it from being wasted – essentially giving plastic a second chance at life.

Existing plastic recycling systems are perfect for recycling mainly bottles, but Recycling Technologies’ unique system means that more plastics are turned back into new packaging and products – which keeps the plastic out of the ecosystem and ensures it continues to play a useful role.

Juliet Rogan, Head of High-Growth Entrepreneurs, Barclays said: “Barclays is proud to support Recycling Technologies, and other innovative high growth UK businesses. We know that great businesses are often created by coming up with ways of solving the really important problems that people care about, such as the damage of single-use plastic.

“This is why we’re working with Recycling Technologies on this new initiative to show people what is now possible with plastic – and that small actions such as recycling a plastic bag can have a huge impact on the environment. We want to help are keen to support many more high-growth entrepreneurs who create real social and environmental change – as well as growth and jobs for the UK economy.”

Elena Parisi, Sales & Marketing Director at Recycling Technologies said: “Plastic recycling is our business but also our passion – our machine turns plastic waste into high-grade, useful raw materials, which means it stays out of landfill and doesn’t harm the environment. Some plastics are vital to keep food fresh and healthcare safe, so our aim is to help ensure that this needed plastic is recycled. With the right support from companies such as Barclays, we can help plastic all across the UK get a second, third, fourth chance at life. We urge everyone visiting the festival this summer to bin the plastic they bring with them – and help do their part to make single-use a thing of the past.”

These bins are one of a line of initiatives to showcase the positive impact of small UK businesses that are using technology to solve societal and environmental issues. Over the next five years, entrepreneurs working with Barclays through the Unreasonable Impact programme will aim to add 16,000 jobs to the UK[5]

Barclays is committed to backing the UK through supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs, who represent the future of UK jobs and growth. Barclays helps start a new business every 4 minutes, and nearly one million small and medium-sized businesses have been provided with guidance, financial support and more, including 100 Brexit workshops across the UK. The bank also recently launched a £14bn lending fund, to help UK businesses navigate the next three years.


[1] Association for Independent Festivals, Drastic on Plastic Report (2019) ttps://aiforg.com/initiatives/drastic-on-plastic/

[2] As part of sustainability efforts, all plastic used at the festival is fully recyclable and can be placed in the standard recycling bins. The Recycling Technologies bins will recycle plastic brought onto the site by the public only.

[3] UK data from Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Plastics_Market_Situation_Report.pdf  Total UK plastic waste – 3.7Mt Total UK recycled – 382kt circa 10%. https://recyclingtechnologies.co.uk/. Currently 12% can be recycled, 29% Is burnt, 40% Is buried and 19% is lost.

[4] UK data from our research project with the New Plastics Economy run by Ellen MacArthur’s Foundation https://www.newplasticseconomy.org/assets/doc/Lodestar.pdf

[5] This commitment comes via the Unreasonable Impact programme. For further details please visit https://unreasonablegroup.com/initiatives/unreasonable-impact/

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