Cheshire councillors give planning approval for Peel’s Plastic Park

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Councillors from Cheshire West and Chester have given unanimous planning consent for a £165 million Plastic Park near Ellesmere Port.

Peel NRE, part of Peel L&P, are behind Plastic Park and will develop the site that will include processing of up to 367,500 tonnes of mixed recyclables and plastic every year.

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The planning permission for Plastic Park follows on from other previously awarded consent including for the first waste plastic to hydrogen facility and a PET recycling plant.

Peel NRE development director Richard Barker said: “It’s great to get unanimous backing for the Plastic Park – a UK first that will underpin the circular economy in the North West. 

“It’s imperative we deliver creative solutions to the UK’s plastic problem. This project clusters recycling technologies in one place so that we can make the most of a whole range of plastic materials arriving on site, avoiding the need to ship them to different facilities around the region. It’ll mean we can cut down on vehicle movements, create 147 new jobs and deliver essential infrastructure to underpin a North West circular economy that’s much more sustainable. 

“We’ve planned Protos as a holistic destination to support the UK on the road to net zero. With the recently announced Protos CO2 network, linking to the proposed regional carbon capture infrastructure, the Plastic Park is just another example of forward-thinking development that responds to dual-challenge of reducing our waste sent to landfill, while cutting carbon emissions.”

The approved application features:

  • A Materials Recycling Facility (MRF): which will separate out dry mixed recyclable materials (such as glass, paper, cans and card) into different waste streams and send them for recycling. 
  • Plastics Recycling Facility One (PRF1): plastic from the MRF and mixed plastics arriving pre-sorted to the site will be separated into different plastic types. The separated plastic will either go to PRF2 or the PET recycling plant already consented at Protos.   
  • Plastics Recycling Facility Two (PRF2): pre-sorted plastic from PRF1 will be washed and processed into flaked plastic which can be used to make new plastic products, such as food packaging or drinks bottles.  
  • Polymer Laminate Recycling Facility: plastic (such as crisp packets and baby food pouches) will be heated, the plastic will break down into an oil for reuse in manufacturing new products with the aluminium recovered for recycling.  
  • Hydrogen refuelling station: taking hydrogen from the consented plastic to hydrogen facility to supply up to 1000kg of hydrogen per day to vehicles, sufficient to fuel approximately 20 HGVs from outside Protos and a similar number of internal HGV movements that will be servicing operations within Protos. 

Peel will now begin working with potential operators to being forward construction on the site.