Biffa opens PET recycling plant and plots for tubs and trays

Biffa has opened a recycling facility that “helps the UK address plastics waste and the climate emergency”, said the company’s chief executive ahead of today’s unveiling, while outlining plans for a new facility to recycle plastics tubs and trays.

Speaking as the £27.5 million ($35.8m) PET plastics bottle recycling plant opens in Seaham, County Durham, Michael Topham said that facilities like this enable the UK to recycle its own waste, while creating jobs in the green economy and stimulating the development of more sustainable packaging.

Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, called the facility “another step in our ambition for the North to close the productivity gap and work towards an extra 850,000 jobs by 2050 by transforming our economy for the better”.

The plant is capable of converting 57,000 tonnes of PET a year, equivalent to 1.3 billion plastics bottles, and will provide 100 jobs in the region. It benefits from the fact that Biffa already collects more than 4m tonnes of waste and recycling from UK households and businesses every year.

Biffa anticipates revenues of £40m ($52m) a year from the plant.

Beyond Seaham, Biffa operates a plant in Redcar, North Yorkshire, which recycles HDPE plastics milk bottles. Around 85 per cent of milk bottles currently sold in the UK contain Biffa recycled plastics.

Biffa will also build a £7m ($9m) facility in Washington for the processing of plastics tubs and trays. It will handle approximately 20,000 tonnes of plastics a year and be constructed during the next 12 months.