In what is thought to be a North Devon first, businesses and households will be able to recycle polystyrene.

The SWM depot at Roundswell in Barnstaple. Picture: Seth ConwayThe SWM depot at Roundswell in Barnstaple. Picture: Seth Conway

The packaging would usually go in to the black wheelie bin but thanks to a local waste firm SWM can recycle it without a charge.

It is offering to take the polystyrene at its Roundswell depot as Martin Mogford, managing director, explains: "For many people when they open a present and its packed with polystyrene they will feel disappointed to have to put the packaging in the bin. So we're inviting them to give it to us and we'll make sure it's recycled."

SWM Recycling will be open from 8am to 5pm today (Thursday) and Friday and then from 8am to midday on Saturday. Polystyrene is not currently recycled by either North Devon Council or Torridge District Council. The issue of recyclable packaging has been brought into sharp focus following some high profile television programmes on the subject this year.

"With so much packaging waste on Christmas Day it can be hard for people to know what to do with it all," added Mr Mogford.

"As well as taking the polystyrene we can also recycle all the cardboard from the presents too."

Devon County Council's recycling centres are also open during the festive period but aren't able to recycle polystyrene.