New £65 million plastic recycling plant to be built in the UK

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Viridor parent company, Pennon Group, has announced a new project that will use electricity created from non-recyclable waste to power a new £65 million plastic recycling plant.  

The electricity generated from the waste to power the new plant will come from its £252 million energy recovery facility at Avonmouth near Bristol. 

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This new plastics recycling plant will be powered by energy which uses non-recyclable waste as its fuel, creating a “true circular economy energy park”.  

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The recycling and reprocessing plant will be a “world-class facility” that creates a recycling powerhouse in the South West, where the headquarters for Viridor and Pennon are based. 

This plant is part of Viridor’s commitment to UK plastics conversion. 

The co-location of the plastic reprocessing plant with an energy recovery facility creates the opportunity to develop even greater sustainability and environmental efficiency, said Pennon.  

This project will put 60,000 tonnes of recycled plastic from bottles, pots, tubs and trays in PET, HDPE and PP flake and pellet form, back into the economy annually as a viable solution to virgin plastic. 

It will be powered by diverting 320,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and generate 32MW of electricity, the equivalent energy used to power around 44,000 homes.  

Recycled plastic uses 50% less electricity than virgin plastic, and sourcing power from non-recyclable waste takes energy efficiency “one step further” and gives this material a real purpose. 

Pennon Group chief executive officer Chris Loughlin said: “Pennon is dedicated to working in ever-more sustainable ways and we are extremely excited to be announcing this first-of-its-kind investment in plastics recycling. By using waste which cannot be recycled as the fuel to create low carbon electricity which will power plastics recycling, we are creating a truly resource and energy-efficient waste management solution. 

“There is a clear ambition from both UK consumers and politicians to improve recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste which is sent to export. Our research shows that 80% of people believe the UK should find a way to deal with its own recycling without having to ship it to other countries. 

“Unless action is taken now and investment in infrastructure is made, a plastic recycling capacity gap will undermine UK ambitions and the sustainability targets of retailers and the big consumer brands. We are, therefore, delighted to be leading the way.” 

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