Veolia has opened its first plastic recycling facility in Rainham, Essex.
The £5 million facility, known as the ‘Parrot’ polymer separation facility, is designed to separate up to nine different grades of plastic including bottles, yogurt tubs and trays. It has a capacity to handle 50,000 tonnes per year.
Veolia said that the facility has been built to support local authorities across the UK which adopt mixed plastic recycling as part of its collection services to residents. The company estimates that carbon emissions could be cut by 300,000 tonnes per year if every local authority across the UK adopted mixed plastic recycling.
Around 180,000 tonnes of plastic bottles are collected in the UK every year, making 30% of the estimated 550,000 tonnes that enter the waste stream, the company said.
Veolia Environmental executive director services Gavin Graveson said: “This state-of-the-art facility has the capability to adapt to different plastics in the future and will begin to help end confusion for homeowners as to what they can and cannot recycle.
“We can now achieve a market leading end product for reprocessing materials back into plastic products, closing the loop and feeding the circular economy.”