Government

Sunderland City Council introduces new seafront plastic waste bins

Sunderland City Council has launched a new partnership with container manufacturer and waste solutions provider Egbert Taylor to tackle seafront plastic waste.

The partnership has seen the council roll out specially designed 600-litre bins across the seafront, with the receptacles covered in engaging calls to action to get the Sunderland public to correctly dispose of their plastic waste when down on the beach. The move has already seen an uplift in plastics recycling in the area, according to the council.

Before introducing the new 660-litre containers, Sunderland previously used unmarked containers that had little visibility and lacked messaging to engage the public. With millions of visitors to the the area’s beaches every year, the lack of clear signposting to the plastic bins represented a missed opportunity for the council.

Sunderland City Council introduces new seafront plastic waste bins
Steve Parker (left) from Egbert Taylor joins Sunderland City Council’s David Groark as they continue to roll out the 660-litre units across the region’s seafront areas.

The need to get a handle on marine plastic waste is becoming ever more urgent, with the UK’s plastic waste generation predicted to increase by 20 per cent between 2018 and 2030 from 5.2 million tonnes to 6.3 million tonnes, according to WWF. The seafront is a key battleground in the fight against waste, with more than 80 per cent of the 12 million tonnes of plastic entering the world’s oceans every year coming from land-based sources, such as beaches.

Since installation, the new containers in Sunderland have been popular with businesses, residents and visitors to the area, who find the new bins easier to use, more explicit with regards to messaging and more in line with the current national awareness campaigns around plastic waste.

Commenting on the new containers, David Groark, Environmental Services Manager in the Commercial Services Team at Sunderland City Council, said: “Plastic waste is undoubtedly a huge problem, however the good news is that the UK appears to be willing to rise to the challenge of reducing it. Sunderland City Council is certainly keen to reduce unnecessary wastage, play its role in minimising any plastics litter and ensure that its beaches remain clean and attractive for those who enjoy using them. The new 660-litre bins have been extremely helpful and we plan to roll out more units over the next 12 months.”

Steve Parker, Area Manager at Egbert Taylor, added: “Many of us have seen and understand the negative impact that plastic waste has on the environment. These new bins, which have been designed to be as vibrant as the beach areas themselves, certainly engage users and we are delighted to be able to make a contribution towards helping local authorities improve their sustainability credentials.”