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London kicks off carrier bags and film recycling

United Kingdom – PlasRecycle is setting up a £10.7 million (US$ 17.2 million) plant in London – the first such facility in the UK dedicated to recycling plastic carrier bags and film.

The new plant is scheduled to open its doors by the end of the year and will be capable of processing 20 000 tonnes of material per annum, or ‘the equivalent of 2.5 billion high-density polyethylene (HDPE) shopping bags’.

The facility will convert used bags and packaging film into ‘clean plastic granulate’ for replacing virgin material in the manufacture of new black bags and carrier bags, says PlasRecycle. Expecting to create 32 jobs at the plant, the company plans to source bags and film from waste companies, retailers and councils.

‘PlasRecycle brings a green option to local authorities and businesses that have previously had little choice but to export, landfill or incinerate their waste plastic bags and packaging film,’ states PlasRecycle’s chairman Paul Levett. ‘This initiative will create green jobs in the UK and can be a key part of producer responsibility programmes for the packaging and retail industries.’

Green, actually

A report released by the Environment Agency in February 2011 found that ordinary HDPE shopping bags are actually greener than ‘supposedly low-impact choices’, the company argues. Paper and cotton bags have to be reused at least three and 131 times respectively for a lower carbon footprint than HDPE bags, it is suggested.

London mayor Boris Johnson has already welcomed the ‘fantastic’ new plant as part of the capital city’s ‘burgeoning’ recycling sector. UK waste minister Lord de Mauley adds: ‘There is a huge global market for waste and recycling and I want to see UK businesses leading the way on this and helping us compete in the global race.’


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Source: Business Green

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