UK-based plastic recycling organisation RECOUP has secured funding from Innovate UK, the country’s innovation agency, for its plastic recycling communications research project in Kent.

Industry players such as Kent Resource Partnership, Veolia, Viridor, Ocado, Ecosurety, the British Plastics Federation , Plastics Europe and PPS Recovery Systems are supporting the project.

The research aims to explore the connection between communications and plastic recycling, as well as delivering and measuring the overall impact of recycling communications campaigns.

Over a one-year period, RECOUP’s Pledge2Recycle Plastics programme will connect with 67,300 families in Kent to help gather information and gain insights into citizens’ understanding of plastic recycling messages.

It will also focus on whether there is any confusion related to plastic recycling and ways to promote the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastic among citizens.

The information gained from the research will be used to support future plastic recycling engagement strategies.

RECOUP citizen and stakeholder strategy head and Pledge2Recycle Plastics project lead Anne Hitch said: “This project represents a fantastic opportunity for the plastic industry to better understand how we can reach [the UK’s] 2025 recycling targets.

“The citizens of Kent have an opportunity to help formulate future policy and provide the UK with a blueprint demonstrating the links between plastic recycling communications and behaviour change.”

The campaign is backed by 13 Kent councils, who are working together with RECOUP and other partners.

The project will take a controlled, structured approach and connect with more than 1.5 million citizens in total.

Kent Resource Partnership chairman councillor Nick Kenton said: “The aim of this project is to engage with Kent residents to understand if there is any confusion when it comes to plastics recycling and how we can encourage citizens to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.

“We look forward to seeing which interventions help with the quality and quantity of plastic recycling here in Kent.”