Copenhagen has been chosen to lead an international campaign to improve efficiency of plastic recycling and reduce the amount of plastic finding its way into normal waste.

The city has won a substantial grant from the EU to improve its recycling programme and help create alternatives to plastic packaging. It will work with industry and the government on the project, which finishes in 2013.

The city expects to be able to recycle 50 per cent of plastic waste; the EU directive is 22.5 per cent.