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London plastics recycling plant steaming ahead

London plastics recycling plant Express has already reprocessed about 500 tonnes of material since its mid-February opening.

The encouraging figures have exceeded the company’s targets for its start up period. Located in the London borough of Havering, in Rainham, Express who believes it is the first plastics reprocessing plant in London, has been receiving material from waste management companies including Shanks, Cleanaway, Grosvenor and Bywaters.

Express managing director David Chesney said most of the plant’s material has come from Civic Amenity sites, items such as children’s toys and garden furniture.

“Most of the material we get is stuff that no one else handles, stuff from Local Authority sites that would typically go to landfill,” Chesney said.

At the moment the plant has a capacity of 20,000 tonnes, which will double to 40,000 tonnes with the installation of a new Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) sorting line that the company hopes will be in place by September.

There is room for a third plant, which would increase total capacity to 60,000 tonnes.

Of the finished product sold so far about 65% has gone to the UK market, with the remainder exported – mainly to France. Chesney estimates the plant has achieved a “very good” output of about 25 tonnes a day so far.

Business has been going well. “What we processed in the whole of February we did in one week in March,” Chesney said. And the company is already looking to expand, setting its sights on another plant in the London area and one closer to the Midlands.

It was set up with support from London Remade, who offered some funding as well as valuable advice and contacts.

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