Recycling plastic in Kent

We process the plastic and other recyclable materials that are collected by the district and borough councils. In 2017/2018, less than 1% of all materials were sent to landfill.

Almost all of the recyclable waste we receive, including plastics, are processed and separated into individual materials for recycling at local Materials Recycling Facilities (MRF).

How materials are sorted and prepared for recycling in Materials Recycling Facilities

From the MRF, plastics collected from households are used for recycling and remanufacturing. They are sorted into their various types and transported to reprocessing facilities where they are washed and refined into either flakes and pellets or, are sold back into the manufacturing industry, for example the production of plastic milk containers.

How plastic is recycled in Kent

No plastic is sent to China under the Kent County Council (KCC) contracts. The plastics are all sorted into their various polymer types in the UK.  Existing and new UK and European markets receive the plastics for their reprocessing and remanufacture into new products.

We work closely with our contractors to ensure the materials they process on our behalf are handled by responsible, ethical and UK Environment Agency Licenced companies.

Recycling in Tonbridge and Malling

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) will introduce a glass, cans and plastic collection as part of the new South West Kent Partnership that will commence in the autumn.

Plastics we can't recycle

We don't currently have the facility to recycle large rigid plastic items such as children’s play equipment. These are sent to be shredded and utilised as Refuse Derived fuel (RDF) within Europe.

Read the report

If you would like to find out more about what happens to Kent’s household waste and recycling, read the Kent Resource Partnership Materials End Destination Report (PDF, 1.1 MB).