Drinks Recycling On-the-Go

WRAP/Defra recently commissioned our Consultancy Team to assess the quantity of drinks containers that are consumed, disposed and recycled away-from-home and on-the-go

Drinks recycling on-the-go (OTG) refers to the collection of beverage containers in public spaces such as a street, train station or shopping centre, for recycling. Drinks recycling away-from-home (AFH) refers to the collection of beverage containers for recycling anywhere other than from a household, for example at school or college, in an office, at an event or OTG. 
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Disposable coffee cup 

The challenge

OTG recycling is known to be very low, due to lack of collection infrastructure and consumer communications (resulting in highly contaminated recycling collections where they do exist).

The project

We assessed consumption of plastic and glass drinks bottles, metal drinks cans, drinks cartons, drinks pouches and to some extent disposable coffee cups. This consumption was then compared to estimated disposal (recycling, rubbish bin, litter) and informed by the most extensive composition analysis of OTG recycling bins that has been undertaken in the UK.

We are able to provide the best estimates of drinks packaging placed on the market (POM) due to EPIC, our extensive packaging information database, and through the knowledge of our consultants and our industry contacts, who are an integral part of any flow project. EPIC provides a new level of granularity to packaging data, meaning an assessment of single format drinks packaging (non-multipack) and drinks packaging size could be undertaken.

The comprehensive consumer survey was undertaken by consumer insight specialists ICARO. The 4000-strong survey provided valuable insight into where drinks where consumed and where and how they were disposed of.

On the go recycling bins 

Finally, the OTG recycling composition analyses were undertaken by RECOUP, providing unprecedented levels of data on OTG material collected for recycling, in addition to some general OTG waste composition for comparison. 

Our report

Our "Drinks Recycling On-the-Go" report provides the greatest insight yet into how many and where drinks in disposable containers are consumed, disposed and recycled. With the introduction of DRS in the UK just round the corner, it is critical for governments and stakeholders to have the best available information on which to base their comments, commitments and plans.

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