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Further boost to UK plastics recycling

United Kingdom – The UK’s capability to recycle plastic packaging has been given a further funding injection. A £1.15 million (US$ 1.8 million) loan from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will enable the ECO Plastics facility in Lincolnshire to recycle an additional 15 000 tonnes of rigid plastic packaging. This will extend its existing bottle sorting and processing facility to now recycle a total of 150 000 tonnes of plastics annually.

The investment complements the joint venture that the business formed with Coca-Cola Enterprises last year and will mean that its Hemswell facility is now better able to process rigid plastic packaging such as tubs, pots and trays, as well as plastic bottles.
In 2010, WRAP also helped to fund the Biffa Polymers recycling plant at Redcar in north-east England.

‘It is important that rigid plastic packaging is effectively recycled as, if not carried out properly, rigid plastics can contaminate the highly-valuable plastic bottle waste stream,’ states WRAP. ‘As the UK’s capacity to process non-bottle plastics packaging grows, it will ultimately become viable for local authorities to routinely collect non-bottle plastics packaging from households at kerbside.’

Over the next three to five years, WRAP aims to support higher recycling rates for all plastics packaging ‘but in a way that allows quality to be maintained so that the best environmental and economic outcomes can also be achieved’, it says. WRAP’s aim is to increase the UK’s capacity to recycle its rigid plastic packaging by 100 000 tonnes per year through a Mixed Plastics Loan Fund.

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