Plastic recycling in Cheltenham

Plastic for recycling at Swindon Road depot

Residents in Cheltenham can recycle plastics in their kerbside recycling boxes, the Swindon Road household recycling centre and various bring bank sites around the town

So what does happen to your plastics and where does it go?

Plastics in Cheltenham are collected from your kerbside recycling boxes by our partner Ubico and taken to the recycling transfer station based in Swindon Road. Plastics are then baled and sent via a haulier to a recycling company just outside Cirencester. This is then prepared ready to be sent to a company in Swinton, Manchester who sort the plastic and turn it into plastic flake or pellets ready to be turned into another plastic product. None of Cheltenham’s plastics end up in plastic mountains in other countries.

Cheltenham Borough Council collected 1,371.33 tonnes of plastic last year (2018/19).

Help us reduce the amount of plastic packaging that goes into the waste stream and recycle all your plastics.

We support the reduction in the use of plastics, particularly single use plastics and would encourage all residents to actively find alternatives to plastics where possible and practical.

What plastics can you recycle in Cheltenham?

Residents can put all colours (including black plastic) of plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays in their kerbside recycling box. Remember to check your bathroom bins for shampoo bottles and other plastic items.

Example of plastics that can be recycled: Bottles, pots, tubs and trays.

We have contacted our reprocessor who has confirmed that none of the plastic collected and sent for reprocessing in the UK ends up forming a plastic mountain in another county as recently featured in a television programme. There are different grades of plastic, it is not all the same and some are listed below:

  • Natural PET bottles and trays, Jazz PET bottles are turned into flake for bottle manufacture in Gwent, Wales.
  • Jazz PET bottles are turned into flake for strapping/tray manufacture in Gwent, Wales
  • Nat HD bottles are turned into flake for bottle manufacture in Cleveland, England
  • Jazz HD is turned into pipe manufacture in Horncastle, England
  • PP is turned into flake for PP Sheet manufacturers in Cleveland, England

Plastic flake and pellets look like this:

PET flake Image of plastic PET flakes
HDPE pellets Image of plastic HDPE pellets
PP flake Image of plastic PP flakes
LDPE pellets Image of plastic LDPE pellets

Councillor Chris Coleman, cabinet member clean and green environment said “We are doing everything we can to extend the range of recycling materials collected in Cheltenham and are absolutely committed to ensuring that all the recycling residents collect stays in the UK or Europe”.