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What’s your ‘plastic solution’?

8 May 2024

Veolia, Viridor and the four South London Waste Partnership boroughs (Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton) have launched a joint campaign to raise awareness amongst residents of the link between plastic waste and carbon emissions.

The campaign will provide practical ideas and tips on how to reduce the amount of plastic waste that is placed in rubbish bins and encourage residents to share their own hacks on social media using the hashtag #PlasticSolution.

‘Plastic Solution’ asks residents to make simple changes to their daily routines to reduce the amount of plastic thrown away as general waste. Residents are encouraged to:

  • reduce their reliance on single-use plastic
  • reuse plastics to prevent them from going to waste
  • recycle more unavoidable plastic waste around the home, and
  • be flexible with their recycling, by finding local recycling points for ‘flexible’ plastics such as bags, food pouches and crisp packets

Digital advertising, bus stop and roadside billboards, leaflets and mobile advertising bikes will be used across the SLWP region to raise awareness of the campaign. A dedicated page on the SLWP website will provide more details, share tips suggested by residents on social media and explain why plastic waste releases more carbon when it’s treated as general waste compared to other types of rubbish.

Simon Bussell, Head of Contracts at the South London Waste Partnership, said:

“This campaign is not about demonising plastic. Since it came into widespread use in the 1970s, plastic packaging has brought huge benefits; such as keeping our food and drink fresh and medicines sterile. But the reality is that whilst plastic waste only makes up around 16% of the weight of the average SLWP rubbish bin, it accounts for around 70% of a bin’s carbon footprint. That’s why it’s particularly important to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic whenever possible and why we are running this awareness campaign in conjunction with our commercial partners.”

Scott Edgell, General Manager for Veolia South London, said:

“We’re proud of the work we do across the South London Waste Partnership boroughs to ensure that recycling carefully separated by residents is collected and recycled. Through the Plastic Solution campaign we hope to empower residents to reduce, reuse, and recycle even more plastic at home to avoid it being treated as general waste and reduce their carbon footprint as a result.”

Dean Wilson, Plant Manager for Viridor at Beddington ERF, said:

“We are committed to boosting recycling in partnership with the South London Waste Partnership boroughs, focusing on increasing recycling rates throughout south London. This ‘Plastic Solution’ campaign aims to enhance awareness about recycling plastic packaging in daily life. While the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) plays a vital role in diverting waste from landfill and converting non-recyclable materials into energy, our priority remains clear: recycle wherever possible. Recycling not only conserves resources but also reduces the burden on the ERF, allowing us to focus on transforming only truly non-recyclable waste into energy.”


Notes for Editors

Veolia and Viridor are both commercial partners of the South London Waste Partnership. For details see: Commercial partners.

About Veolia
Veolia’s ambition is to become the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 218,000 employees on five continents, the Group designs and deploys useful, practical solutions for managing water, waste and energy that help to radically change the world. Through its three complementary activities, Veolia contributes to developing access to resources, preserving available resources and renewing them. In 2023, the Veolia group served 113 million people with drinking water and 103 million with wastewater services, produced 42 terawatt-hours of energy and recovered 63 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) generated consolidated sales of €45.3 billion in 2023.

About Viridor
Viridor is a sector leading resource recovery and recycling business focused on energy recovery and plastics recycling and reprocessing. We operate the largest fleet of Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities in the UK and the largest multi-line polymers reprocessing plant in the UK. Through a fleet of 10 EfW facilities, three plastics recycling and reprocessing sites, and a network of transfer stations, we process over three million tonnes of waste and recycling a year. Producing enough energy to power c. 500,000 British homes.

Viridor’s purpose is to build a world where nothing goes to waste. In May 2021, Viridor published an ambitious decarbonisation plan committing to reaching Net Zero by 2040 and to becoming the UK’s first net negative emissions waste management company by 2045. And in December 2021, committed to being a fully circular plastics recycling and reprocessing business by 2025.


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