Bright Green Plastics, a plastics reprocessing business that’s based in the U.K., has invested 750,000 pounds into the development of a new plastics sorting plant, which will be fully operational by the end of July. According to a news release from Bright Green Plastics, the sorting plant was installed at its Castleford site in West Yorkshire, U.K. The plant will enable the company to take bales of mixed plastics and 3D materials collected from curbside recycling programs and sort them by polymer type and color.
The new sorting plant will have the ability to process mixed plastic bottles, high-density polyethylene, polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate, a spokesperson from Bright Green Plastics says. It will also have the ability to process between 10,000 and 15,000 metric tons per year of materials.
The company says this investment will also help it to purchase materials from a wider market and eliminate reliance on purchasing presorted bales from other processors.
“This investment will reduce the core costs within our business; however, we are also excited by the fact it will create more jobs in an area, whilst boosting the U.K. plastic reprocessing industry, which has been badly affected by COVID-19, by creating more recycling capacity,” says Steve Spencer, managing director at Bright Green Plastics.
Bright Green Plastics reports that the company intended to open the plant in January but was forced to put it on hold until July due to the pandemic. With the machine now up and running, Bright Green Plastics says it hopes to have an impact on the amount of reusable plastics that are currently being exported out of the U.K.
“The new U.K. sorting plant is likely to discourage exporting of mixed materials due to this new U.K.-based processing capacity to sort the plastics into single-stream polymers prior to recycling,” Spencer says.
“We’re set to play a key role in increasing the U.K.’s recycling capacity,” says Craig Davidson, manager of the Bright Green Plastics plant in West Yorkshire. “Getting to work with the very latest technology to keep perfectly good, recyclable plastic in the U.K. is a huge step in the right direction for our industry after what’s been an extremely challenging time.”
Bright Green Plastics’ investment in the new sorting plant is phase one of a long-term investment plan, where the business is set to further upgrade its equipment to keep up with the demand of recycling services in line with the introduction of the U.K. plastic tax in 2022, where it will be compulsory for all U.K. manufacturers and producers to incorporate at least 30 percent recycled plastic into plastic packaging to avoid a large tax bill.
Bright Green Plastics recycles more than 40,000 metric tons of household and commercial scrap each year.