Biffa, a UK-wide provider of waste management services, has opened a £27.5 million ‘state of the art’ poly-ethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling facility in Seaham, County Durham.
This is capable of converting 57,000 tonnes of PET plastic per year (the equivalent of 1.3 billion plastic bottles) into high-purity plastic pellets that can be used in a range of applications, including food and beverage packaging and clothing.
) hopes that the plant will play an “important role in reducing plastic pollution in the UK by improving the country’s ability to recycle through sustainable closed-loop systems.”
The plant will create 100 full-time jobs, building on Biffa’s established presence in the North, where it already employs around 1,600 people.
According to the company, the new facility, which is expected to generate £40 million in revenues each year, is of strategic significance for Biffa, as the group continues to expand its nation-wide recycling capabilities.
It will capitalise on the access to plastic waste that Biffa has through its collections and sorting activities, including the 4.1 million tonnes of scrap that the group collects from UK households and businesses every year.
The Seaham facility will also build on Biffa’s existing capabilities in plastics recycling, including its plant in Redcar, where it recycles high-density poly-ethylene (HDPE) bottles into food-grade recycled HDPE.
According to Biffa, about 85% of milk bottles sold in the UK now contain its recycled plastics.
Biffa has also announced plans for a new facility in Washington (Tyne & Wear), which will expand its recycling capabilities for plastic tubs and trays.
This site is expected to handle about 20,000 tonnes of plastic per year and create 30 new jobs.