Veolia Environmental Services has opened its first plastic recycling facility in Rainham, Essex. The facility has been built to support local authorities across the UK adopting mixed plastic recycling as part of its collection services to residents.
The company found that if every local authority across the UK adopted mixed plastic recycling it will help save over 300,000 tonnes of CO2 per year the equivalent of removing approximately 75,000 cars off the road per year.
Veolia states the new facility represents a £5 million investment into the UK economy, has created 45 new jobs and has the capacity to handle up to 50,000 tonnes per annum. Also known as the ‘Parrot’ POLY-mer separation facility, it is designed to separate up to nine different grades of plastics ranging from bottles, yogurt tubs and trays to ensure high quality and high value for the end user.
Gavin Graveson, Executive Director of Veolia Environmental Services, said: “This state-of-the-art facility has the capability to adapt to different plastics in the future and will begin to help end confusion for homeowners as to what they can and cannot recycle. We can now achieve a market leading end product for reprocessing materials back into plastic products, closing the loop and feeding the circular economy.”
The UK as a whole is currently collecting around 180,000 tonnes of plastic bottles per annum, which represents around 30% of the estimated 550,000 tonnes that enter the waste stream every year.