A KEIGHLEY company has hit back at claims that manufacturers are not doing enough to eradicate unrecyclable plastic.

And the firm refutes suggestions that producers aren't communicating with local authorities over the issue.

PFF Packaging Group was speaking out in response to a report produced by the Local Government Association, which says only a third of plastic used by households is able to be recycled.

The association is calling on manufacturing companies to work with councils and develop a plan to stop unrecyclable packaging from entering the environment.

Use of black plastic is highlighted as a particular problem, because it cannot easily be scanned and sorted by recycling machines.

But Kenton Robbins – group managing director of PFF, whose headquarters are in Royd Ings Avenue – says the report doesn't present an accurate picture.

"It claims that businesses are reluctant to discuss recycling issues with local authorities but this is certainly not the case with PFF," he said.

"We are actively exploring innovative and groundbreaking initiatives with local authorities in our region that will take significant steps towards the development of 'closed loop' recycling regionally and we look forward to reporting further on this shortly."

Closed-loop recycling is a process whereby waste is transformed into the same product it came from.

Mr Robbins added: "We also know that one authority in our region sends very little waste to landfill and virtually zero plastic.

"Every item we produce at Keighley and our Washington, Tyne & Wear, plant is recyclable, as we have migrated products over the past ten years to newer, more environmentally-friendly materials.

"We have taken literally hundreds of products and engineered them to have a smaller environmental footprint and to ensure they are 100 per cent recyclable and made from the highest possible recycled content. Some of our products contain up to 90 per cent recycled content.

"If we can get the used plastic back to us, we can reuse it over and over again!

"We also need to understand that plastic plays a vital role in the food chain to protect products and minimise food waste. Unlike some other formats, plastic is light, hygienic and can be recycled many times.

"In our case, these products are made in the UK and support vital UK manufacturing jobs.

"Plastic may currently be getting a bad press but we are proud of the work are doing with our customers to lead industry changes that underline our environmental credentials and help take care of the planet."

PFF Packaging Group is the UK's largest independent producer of thermoformed plastic food packaging.

As well as its Keighley and Washington manufacturing sites, it also has a £1m innovation centre.

Councillor Judith Blake, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, is calling on the Government to consider banning low-grade plastics – particularly those for single use – in order to increase recycling.

She added: "We need an industry-wide, collaborative approach where together we can reduce the amount of material having an impact on the environment. But if industry won't help us get there, then the Government should step in to help councils ensure we can preserve our environment for generations to come."