Viridor to recycle 5,000 tonnes of plastic to prevent the material leaving the UK

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Viridor has agreed a two-year contract with a UK plastics firm to reprocess around 5,000 tonnes of recycling sacks, shopping bags and film each year to prevent it from being sent abroad to develop end-of-waste products. 

The material is sourced from Crayford, Milton Keynes, Masons and Plymouth material recycling facilities. Previously, markets for this grade of plastic were Asian countries and Turkey. 

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Viridor resource management (VRM) managing director Keith Trower stated that the firm is committed to developing long term and sustainable outlets for all material streams.  

He said: “VRM is actively seeking opportunities to agree end-of-waste contracts with reprocessors here in the UK where this demand and capacity exists. The resource market remains a global market, governed by the basic principles of supply and demand, but we recognise public sentiment that the UK should find a way to deal with its own waste. This was the view of four in five people polled in Viridor’s 2018 Recycling Index and this is reflected in our focus on companies which are investing in the UK and Europe to meet the capacity gap in UK waste production and our reprocessing of certain grades of polymer. 

“These partnerships offer real opportunities for UK companies to come together to advance recycling and circular economy ambitions, giving the public added confidence that their efforts at home can see materials go on to live another life, moving away from a disposable society.” 

Gloucestershire-based KS Plastics invested £1.5 million in its new facility. The investment continued with a further two washing lines that will increase capacity to 24ktpa.  

KS Plastics managing director Kai Ma said: “Our focus is on adding much-needed plastic processing capacity to the UK. We have chosen to target the lower end of the value chain to create something unique to the market. This is a three-polymer pellet which allows for low grade films to be processed quickly. We believe this may be unique in the UK, with other processors hand sorting to process one type of polymer. 

“Our product, both flake and pellet, can be used in a number of applications to give this material new life but, at present, it is predominantly in demand in the insulation market. We are happy to be working with Viridor to offer a secure and viable UK recycling route for this material. Such partnerships are imperative to encourage investment in the UK.” 

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