European plastic bottle recycler Eco Plastics has raised £24m providing a “solid financial platform” for the expansion of its recycling facility in Hemswell, Lincolnshire.
The work will see capacity boosted from recycling 100,000 tonnes to 140,000 tonnes of mixed plastic bottles each year – just under half the tonnage collected in the UK last year.
Planning approval for the expansion was gained in May and the plant should be operational during 2012. The fund will be used to expand the existing Eco Plastics plant as well as the investment to build and operate a joint venture business on the same site that will supply Coca-Cola Enterprises with rPET over the next ten years.
Announced in March, the joint venture business will more than double British production of food grade recycled material for soft drinks packaging.
The expansion funds include a £5m equity investment by the Ludgate Environmental Fund plus the previously announced £5m from Coca Cola Enterprises. The remaining £14m is being loaned by Close Brothers.
ECO Plastics chairman Peter Gangste said: “We will recycle used British packaging in Lincolnshire, for re-use in packaging sold in Britain. This represents an important milestone for both the drinks manufacturing industry and the recycling industry.
“We are delighted that the markets have recognised the value of this model. The UK sustainable packaging market has huge growth potential and our expansion will make ECO Plastics a world leader.”