LONDON -- The United Kingdom's plastics industry recycled 517,394 metric tons of material during 2011, according to a survey carried out by the British Plastics Federation's Recycling Group.
The data came from a survey of the group's 40 members. Some 25 of the companies responded to the survey, accounting for an estimated 87 percent of the U.K. plastics recycling-related sales of 305 million pounds ($483 million).
The survey showed a significant jump from the group's 2010 data, when members reported that 357,300 metric tons of material recycled.
Roger Baynham, the group's chairman, said: "This survey reinforces our position at the forefront of the U.K. plastics recycling industry.
"However, the increased packaging recycling targets set by the government are challenging and will only be achieved by creating a credible route map, which must address the U.K.'s over-reliance on export markets for its plastics waste."
Simon Carroll, managing director of recycler Centriforce Products Ltd., said it was encouraging that the U.K. plastics recycling industry was achieving record outputs.
"U.K. targets are challenging and to succeed U.K. recyclers must strive to find both the quantity and quality of feedstocks they need to grow," he said.
Carroll said the industry could take steps to help itself.
"We took a bold move to invest in our plastics sorting facility last year and this has just been rewarded with a nationwide agreement with the John Lewis Partnership to reprocess all their plastics waste. We hope further similar arrangements will follow with other organizations," he said.