Friday, October 7, 2022

Biffa submits plans for £16m plastics recycling plant

According to an application submitted to Redcar and Cleveland council, the £16 million plant will process post-consumer recyclable HDPE milk and juice bottles, transported in bulk from Biffa’s materials recycling facilities (MRFs).

The application was submitted on 28 March and validated by the council on 5 April. It will now be out for consultation until 14 May.

If approved, the plant will be built adjacent to Biffa’s existing Redcar facility on the site of a former wood yard.

Biffa explained that demand for material from its current facility “hugely outweighs supply and that is why a further facility is required.”

The waste management company said the plant would be “market-leading”, and added that there was an “urgent need to recycle the UK’s plastic waste and meaningfully reduce the demand for virgin plastics.”

The plant would add to Biffa’s portfolio of plastic recycling facilities, which includes the existing Redcar facility, its Seaham facility, and the Washington plant in Sunderland.


Chris Hanlon, Biffa Polymers commercial director, said: “As leading enablers of the circular economy, and with the launch of the Government’s packaging tax this month, it’s vital we continue to increase the amount of recycled plastic available to bottle manufacturers.

“Our expansion at Redcar is the latest in a series of significant investments Biffa has made in the UK’s plastics recycling infrastructure, particularly in the North-East where our two other polymer plants at Washington and Seaham recycle PP and PET respectively.

“All three plants combined currently recycle around 155,000 tonnes of plastic each year, rising to 240,000 tonnes by 2030.”


According to the document, the process at the new facility would have a yield of approximately 70%. Therefore, the expected product output would be almost 17,000 tons per year.

“The facility would therefore make a significant contribution to processing plastics at a time when there is a keen public and media focus on plastics recovery, reuse and recycling,” Biffa explained.

Biffa added that the planned facility would generate 26 full time jobs, with an aim to fill the roles locally. Biffa will conduct “extensive training” at its existing facility to “improve skills in the local workforce”.

The company said in the application: “The proposals are supported by national and local planning policies to encourage recycling.

“Biffa considers that this pioneering facility would play a crucial role in plastics recycling and make a significant contribution to a sustainable, low carbon, resource and energy efficient economy in Redcar and the North East.”

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