Resource Use

World’s largest plastics processing facility opened in Lincolnshire

plastic bottles PET

A £15 million extension to ECO Plastics’s existing PET bottle recycling facility in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, was officially opened by Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 10 May, making it the world’s largest plastics processing facility of its kind. The new facility marks the official beginning of Continuum Recycling, ECO Plastics’s joint venture with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) Ltd, which is expected to more than double the amount of bottle-grade recycled PET (rPET) produced in Britain.

The multi-million pound extension has included an upgrade of the plant’s facilities and has created 30 jobs, while a £1.15 million loan from WRAP’s Mixed Plastics Loan Fund (granted in February 2012) has expanded the plant’s sorting capacity from 15,000 to 40,000 tonnes of rPET per year. The new plant will see PET bottles processed, recycled and made back into bottles within a six-week time scale.

Jon Woods, General Manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland, said: “The six week bottle-to-bottle recycling system has been developed in partnership with Continuum Recycling and other partners, and is just one example of what is our most sustainable sponsorship activation to date.”

Continuum Recycling is the first long-term strategic partnership between the beverage and recycling industries, and will provide CCE with high-quality rPET for its soft drinks for a minimum of 10 years.

“Our investment in Continuum Recycling shows that we are serious about setting the industry standard for sustainable packaging”, said Simon Baldry, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Enterprises. “This £15m state-of-the-art facility will transform recycling in this country and ensure that we achieve our ambition of incorporating 25 per cent recycled PET in our plastic bottles. This is a first for the industry and an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to build a low-carbon, zero waste business here in Great Britain.”