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First UK nappy recycling plant set to come on stream

United Kingdom – The UK is about to open first plant for recycling nappies. The facility, which will also recycle feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products, is the first of five planned over the next four years by Canadian company Knowaste, which specialises in absorbent hygiene product (AHP) waste recycling.

Knowaste said the first site, at West Bromwich in the Midlands, will use state-of-the-art technology to recycle AHPs, sterilising and separating the materials to recover plastic and fibre that can then be used for making new products, such as roof tiles, plastic components and fibre-based construction and commercial tubing.

Roy Brown, CEO of Knowaste, said: ‘This first site represents the beginning of a £25 million [Euro 28.8 million] overall investment in the UK, that will produce capacity for handling about a fifth of the AHP waste stream – equating to a saving of 110 000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. Mr Brown said Knowaste was also working with local authorities and their waste contractors to recycle domestic AHP waste in the future at the Midlands plant and others planned for Scotland, London and western England.

‘In the UK, more than one million tonnes of AHP waste is generated annually, much of which is landfilled. A significant proportion is produced by the commercial sector and we are proud to be working already with some of the leading AHP collection companies in the Midlands and the nation,’ he added. The West Bromwich site the first facility for Knowaste after it set up an AHP recycling operation in the Netherlands that went bankrupt in 2008.

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