Plastic bags and wrapping will be able to be recycled in more areas as North Herts Council announces plans to expand its scheme to more than 6,000 homes.

The council initiative will be implemented following its successful trial in Knebworth, and will be fully operational by July.

Since November, residents have been using dedicated blue bags furnished by the council for disposing of plastic bags and wrapping.



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The bags can then be placed into their regular paper recycling box.

Around 2,200 properties participated in the original Knebworth trial, with a further 6,250 properties set to join through the expansion, bringing the total to around 8,500 homes.

Cllr Amy Allen, the council’s executive member for recycling and waste, said: "It's been great to see the blue bags lining the streets of Knebworth, and it’s fantastic that we are now able to expand it to other areas in the district.

"The exact area for the expansion has not yet been finalised, but is unlikely to fit neatly into geographic ward boundaries, as that’s not how our collection rounds work."

Cllr Tom Tyson, deputy executive member for recycling and waste, added: "The separate collection of plastic bags and wrapping – whether you’re in the Knebworth trial, the new expansion, or taking them to your local supermarket – has a dramatic impact on what’s left in a non-recyclable (purple) bin, and therefore what gets sent to landfill.

"I have been taking my soft plastics to the collection point at our local supermarket for over a year and know first-hand how much even a small household can generate."

The council was selected to participate in the fully-funded scheme for the collection of soft plastics to test integrating the materials into standard household collection services.

Currently, they can only be recycled at supermarket collection points.

More information will be available to households in the expansion areas, including specifics on what can be collected.

The trial forms part of a larger £2.9 million Flexible Plastic Fund 'FlexCollect' project, founded in May 2021 by partners Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever.

It is hoped to be expanded to the whole district of North Herts by 2025.