New initiative to curb single-use laundry plastics announced in Brighton and Hove

Smol, a UK-based eco-laundry brand, has partnered with local recycling co-operative Magpie Recycling to launch a new initiative aiming to tackle laundry plastic in Brighton and Hove.

Hand pouring detergent into lid

The Big Laundry Plastic Amnesty, announced today (2 September), aims to curb the rising amounts of single-use laundry plastics in the area, as the city’s council misses key recycling targets for another year.

The initiative follows research conducted by the brand, revealing that  Brighton witnesses almost 100 tonnes of single-use plastic laundry packaging thrown away each year, with the UK producing 11,000 tonnes annually. The study further reveals that Brighton and Hove holds the worst recycling rates in Sussex, with just 29.4 per cent of waste being recycled, 16.1 per cent below the national average.

To address these patterns, Smol is partnering with Magpie Recycling to address the limited recycling offering in the Brighton and Hove area. Offering to collect laundry plastic from the community, The Big Laundry Plastic Amnesty will transform the materials into something useful, while offering residents free eco-friendly alternatives.

To take part in the Amnesty, members of the public are invited to donate their empty single-use laundry plastics to Smol on 10 September via home collection, or on 11 September at Brighton’s Jubilee Square. The collected materials will then be used to build benches for the local community.

Those who are not able to make the two dates are invited to drop off their plastic at local collection points, such as Bird and Blend Tea Co, before or after the event.

After drop-off, residents are then invited to sign up to be a ‘Smol Star’, and help collect laundry plastics from their local areas to win free laundry capsules and other prizes for friends, family, and neighbours.

Rob, from Magpie Recycling, said, “Failure to re-negotiate a 30-year PFI contract for Brighton and Hove Council has meant locals have been unable to recycle a wide variety of plastics, including laundry plastics which account for almost 100 tonnes of the plastic waste Brighton produces annually. As a result, communities have been stepping up to fill the void and tackle the plastic problem themselves.”

Smol’s co-founder, Nick Green, added: “Brighton is just one example where systems and infrastructure are failing people who want to make a difference and help the environment.

“People have been taking matters into their own hands for long enough; it should be laundry giants - the likes of P&G and Unilever - that should be footing the cost and doing their part in reducing waste by switching to readily available sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging that are more easily and widely recycled.

“Home to the country’s only Green MP, the people of Brighton and Hove have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability that made it the natural place to start for our Plastic Amnesty. However, we hope to take similar initiatives around the UK to help show even more communities the power of going plastic-free with their laundry.”