The UK’s first shopping bag and plastic film recycling facility has received a visit from Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon – and he was impressed with what he saw.
He was given a tour of the PlasRecycle facility that opened in late 2013 and is based in Woolwich, south east London.
The new facility uses a high tech proprietary process developed by PlasRecycle over the past four years to reprocess up to 20,000 tonnes of used shopping bags and films. The plant produces a plastic granulate that can be used for making new bags, replacing virgin materials.
For every tonne of plastic packaging that is reprocessed and recycled, there is a corresponding saving of 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
PlasRecycle founder and chief executive Duncan Grierson said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister and show him around our new plant which is recycling used bags back into a high quality pellet for reuse. We are pleased to be contributing to the country’s environmental targets set by the EU’s Waste Framework Directive and the Climate Change Bill.
“Scientific research by the Environment Agency has shown that regular polythene carrier bags have a much better carbon footprint than alternatives, such as paper bags and biodegradable bags. Our new plant helps to close the loop.”
Michael Fallon added: “The innovative technology being used by PlasRecycle shows that dealing with waste and recycling properly can create jobs and boost economic growth as well as being good for the environment.
“The Government’s industrial strategy is giving businesses all over the country the confidence to invest, and securing highly skilled jobs and a stronger economy, including here in Woolwich.”