Friday, 3 December 2010
Every now and again, there's a bit of news that lightens the dark skies of the plastic world we inhabit:
UK-based recycling giant AWS Eco Plastics will today officially reopen Europe's largest plastic bottle recycling facility at its plant in Hemswell, North Lincolnshire, after a fire last year stalled the company's ambitious expansion plans.
The re-opened facility will be capable of processing 100,000 tonnes of UK plastic waste each year, sorting and cleaning 300,000 bottles an hour that will then be either recycled onsite or exported to China.
AWS managing director Jonathan Short said that the £17m facility marked the first stage of a major expansion push for the company that could ultimately see a second plant capable of processing 200,000 tonnes of plastic a year located on the same site.
He explained the plant would be expanded during the first quarter of next year to process an extra 40,000 tonnes a year, while the company is also in the process of raising an additional £15m funding round that would allow it to begin work on a second facility.
"The sector is now at a crossroads, there is room for more recycling capacity in the UK, the supply of materials is there, the demand is there, now we just need stability in the market to give people the confidence to invest." Short said that as well as sorting and cleaning plastic bottles the plant would be able to recycle 40,000 tonnes of plastic each year to a level where it can be re-used as a food-grade plastic - essentially allowing drink bottles to be recycled as drink bottles."The carbon cost of making food-grade plastic from recycled material is a third of that of producing virgin plastic," he added.
A tiny ripple in the sea of plastic, but something!