A RECYCLING expert has come up with a unique solution to the problem of single use plastic

Burnley-based What More UK, the largest UK manufacturer of British household plastic products, has developed the Upcycled range, manufactured from 95 per cent single-use items such as margarine tubs and yoghurt pots, known as PP.

The issue has been a hot topic, particularly after China banned the import of UK plastic in January, meaning single-use plastic would have to be disposed on out own shores, which amounts to some 600 tonnes per year.

But after working with recycling centres around the UK, they have perfected a commercially viable product, which can be made into items such plastic boxes.

The new centres have developed more sophisticated sorting equipment to stop single-use plastics "contaminating" recyclable bales, making the process easier and commercially viable.

This means that the items is collected, recycled and washed. Then the plastic bales are turned into granules with heat, and returned to the Burnley factory.

These are then melted and injected into moulds and the boxes and containers are produced

Tony Grimshaw, managing director of What More UK, said: "The Upcycled range is a huge triumph for us. "Instead of finding another way to either pass on the PP plastic - incinerate it, creating toxic chemicals, or put it into landfill, where it can take up to half a millennium to decay - What More UK made the decision to work towards a viable long-term solution.

"We pre-empted the decision by the Chinese so this is something we were going into anyway.

"And it's a credit to the recycling centres for working with us to help make this happen.

"And not only does it help to solve a problem that is blighting the planet, but the product is 25 per cent cheaper for the customer so it's a double whammy.

"We are urging manufacturers, the government and the public to get on board with a solution. I want to shout about a positive solution to the problem the UK is facing.

"People are very quick to criticise when there's a problem but we want to get the word out there that someone is working on a solution."