Biffa has gained planning approval from Durham County Council for a £15m plastics recycling plant near Seaham.
It intends to use a vacant 130,000sq ft warehouse at Foxcover Distribution Park for a polymer processing plant capable of recycling more than a billion plastic drinks bottles a year and creating around 70 new jobs and doubling Biffa’s plastic bottle recycling capacity.
Construction work is expected to begin in the summer, with commissioning scheduled for December.
Mick Davis, Biffa managing director of resource, recovery and treatment, said: “The UK currently uses around 13.5 billion plastic bottles a year but can only process half of this, with the rest diverted to landfill or overseas.
“This new site represents an exciting opportunity to boost our recycling capacity here at home, and supports the country’s long-term plan to find new ways to reuse plastics.”