Viridor plans UK’s largest plastics recycling facility

WCN Editorial Team 31 May 2019 EUROPE BUILDINGS

Pennon Group, the parent company of Viridor, has announced plans to construct the UK’s biggest plastics recycling plant at Avonmouth, near Bristol.

The £65m plastic recycling plant will be powered by a £252m waste-to-energy facility currently under construction at the site.

Viridor intends to use non-recyclable plastic to power the waste-to-energy plant and the power generated from the facility will be supplied to the recycling plant, which will have a capacity of 60 kilo-tonnes per annum (KPTA) from 81KTPA feedstock, including 1.6 billion bottles, pots, tubs and trays.

By the third year, Viridor plans to increase the recycling facility’s capacity to 89KTPA, which will include 1.7 billion bottles, pots, tubs and trays, producing 63KTPA of recycled material.

The project will help recycle nearly 60,000 tonnes of plastic from bottles, pots, tubs and trays in PET, HDPE and PP flake and pellet form, back in the economy every year. It is considered to be a viable and sustainable solution to virgin plastic.

The power generating facility will use nearly 320,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and generate 32MW of clean electricity, which is equivalent to power consumed by nearly 44,000 homes.

Pennon CEO Chris Loughlin said: “Pennon is dedicated to working in ever-more sustainable ways and we are extremely excited to be announcing this first-of-its-kind investment in plastics recycling. By using waste which cannot be recycled as the fuel to create low carbon electricity which will power plastics recycling we are creating a truly resource and energy-efficient waste management solution.

“There is a clear ambition from both UK consumers and politicians to improve recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste which is sent to export. Our research shows that 80% of people believe the UK should find a way to deal with its own recycling without having to ship it to other countries.

“Unless action is taken now and investment in infrastructure is made, a plastic recycling capacity gap will undermine UK ambitions and the sustainability targets of retailers and the big consumer brands. We are, therefore, delighted to be leading the way.”

Expected to be a world-class facility, the recycling plant will be located near the company’s headquarters.

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Image: Rendering of the plastics recycling plant to be established at Avonmouth, near Bristol. Photo: Courtesy of Viridor.

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