Biffa gets green light for new PET recycling plant

Biffa gets green light for new PET recycling plant

U.K.-based facility to create 70 full-time jobs and process 3 million plastic bottles per day.

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February 7, 2019

United Kingdom-based waste management and recycling company Biffa received planning approval from Durham County Council to develop a £15 million plastics recycling plant near Seaham, England. Construction is expected to begin summer 2019.

“We are delighted Durham County Council recognized the importance of this site to the region, as well as the wider waste industry, and we now look forward to seeing these plans come to life," says Mick Davis, managing director of resource, recovery and treatment at Biffa. 

Biffa says it will make use of a 130,000-square-foot vacant warehouse to create a polymer processing plant capable of recycling more than one billion plastics drinking bottles per year. The facility will create 70 new jobs for the region, the company says, and will process three million bottles per day into new food and drink packaging.

“The U.K. currently uses around a 13.5 billion plastic bottles a year, but can only process half of this, with the rest diverted to landfill or overseas,” Davis says. “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, as detailed in DEFRA’s recent Resource & Waste Strategy.”

The Seaham site will double the company’s recycling capacity for plastic bottles. Currently, its flagship plant processes approximately 18,000 tons of recycled high-density polyethylene (rHDPE) per year to create milk bottles and food trays.

Biffa’s operations include collection, treatment and processing plants, as well as waste disposal and sale of energy derived from waste.