Waste management firm Biffa has revealed that it has placed 1,600 tonnes of previously waste plastic into the circular economy since it opened its PET Recovery Plant in Washington last year.
The company has pioneered technology in Washington that targets and captures tiny flakes of recyclable PET from contaminated waste.
At its neighbouring plant in Seaham, PET contaminated by aluminium or PVC is removed to ensure only the highest quality material goes on to be recycled with food-grade products.
During this process, some good quality material was caught up in this process and wasn’t able to be recycled.
But at the Washington plant, metals are removed using magnetic currents, and optical sorters remove traces of PVC, leaving only the recyclable PET flakes behind.
Biffa Polymers managing director Phil Goodier said: “This award is testament to Biffa’s vision, and commitment to delivering innovative solutions to help tackle the UK’s waste challenge.
“Through this latest technology we are able to apply new recycling processes which can ultimately capture valuable high-quality PET that would otherwise be lost in the waste stream.
“With more than £50million invested in plastics recycling infrastructure since 2016, Biffa recycles over 150,000 tonnes of plastic every year, with plans in place to drive further growth in the coming years.”