Tomra Optical SorterFife Council will begin collecting a wider range of plastics from 21 February. The new plastics collection will supply Scotland’s first plant to recycle flexible plastic and film.

Based in Dunfermline the facility will sort and bale plastics that go on to be recycled by YES Recycling in Glenrothes. The bales of plastic are then turned into Ecosheet – a plywood alternative that can be used in construction, DIY, agriculture, and fabrication.

Cllr Ross Vettraino, Convener - Environment, Protective Services sub committee, said: “The Council is very pleased to start accepting flexible plastics (plastic film) at the kerbside for recycling.  Fife Council is leading the way, and is the first Council in Scotland to offer a kerbside collection service for soft plastics.

"Plastics including plastic bags, vegetable bags and wrappers, the film from the top of ready meal trays, plus pet food pouches and bubble wrap can now be deposited in the green bins.

"By recycling our plastic to make new products such as ecosheets we are moving away from using virgin raw materials and taking a step towards developing a circular economy. Not only are we helping reduce carbon emissions and combating climate change when we recycle our plastic we also make a financial saving by avoiding the £100k cost of disposal and landfill tax each year. ”

Fife Council was awarded £470,000 from the Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund to purchase the ‘Tomra Optical Sorter’ which segregates flexible plastics (plastic film). Fife Council was awarded the money, and the project is being delivered by Arm’s Length External Organisation, Cireco.

The Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund aims to help communities move to a more circular economy, where materials and products are kept in use for as long as possible, and we move away from short-term, wasteful, throwaway approaches. Zero Waste Scotland is administering the Recycling Improvement Fund, which is set to transform Scotland’s recycling infrastructure.