An innovative approach to recycling in Huntingdonshire has seen the creation of a ‘circular economy’ for plastic.

The initiative is being led by Huntingdonshire District Council working with Charpak Ltd, a Huntingdon-based plastic packaging manufacturer, and has seen discarded plastics collected, cleaned, reprocessed and reused, all within the local area.

The council says the new approach, which has been 18 months in the making, has helped to reduce the amount of plastic going to landfill.

A spokesman for the district council said: "Our residents are already great recyclers diverting more than 55 per cent of waste from landfill. We need more plastics recycled and less going to landfill, so the next step is to improve the quality of materials that are collected for recycling.

"This can be done by ensuring no food is left in any plastic container, simply give the containers a wash, and place your recyclables into your bin loose. As for plastic bottles, give them a rinse, then squash and replace the lid before placing into the blue bin for recycling."

The initiative has also involved refuse firm Amey, which sorts the recycling, and Jayplas - which cleans and reprocesses the plastic ready to be reused in new packaging by Charpak.

The collaboration means that plastic collected from Huntingdonshire residents is reused in new recycled packaging in Huntingdon.

Councillor Marge Beuttell, whose executive responsibilities include operations, said: "We are pleased to be working with all partners to help bring together this localised circular economy within Huntingdonshire. This is a great example of how the efforts of our residents' recycling is valuable, and to be able to say what we collect at the kerbside is recycled locally, and reused in Huntingdon is a great achievement."

Justin Kempson, sales and innovation director for Charpak Ltd, which is based in St Peter's Road, said: "This is a collaboration across multi-agencies, working together to re-purpose and reuse plastics and to create value in that.

"The benefit with then be felt locally and that is what is unique in the UK. A lot of people are talking about a local circular economy, we are creating it."