Further blow for plastic recycling as ‘UK-first’ film recycling plant’s assets to be auctioned off

The administrators of plastic film reprocessing company PlasRecycle have announced that the company’s assets will be offered for sale by auction.

The company was placed into administration in July, with joint administrators Hunter Kelly and Charles King of EY, saying that the move was ‘due to the cost and time to get the plant operational being significantly higher than originally envisaged and being unable to secure the additional funding required to meet trading costs’.

The exterior of PlasRecycle's Woolwich facility

PlasRecycle was founded in 2010 to provide a solution to post-consumer polythene bags and packaging films, which have ‘historically been regarded as a waste material into a useful product’.

Its specialised facility in Woolwich, South East London was the UK’s first facility for processing the products and became operational in October 2013 after three years of developing a ‘high-tech’ proprietary process.

The 6.25-acre plant received £10.7 million of finance from investors such as the Foresight Environmental Fund, London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and has a processing capacity of 20,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent to 2.5 billion high-density polyethylene (HDPE) shopping bags sourced from waste companies and retailers. It uses the material to create a ‘clean’ plastic granulate for manufacturing new black sacks and carrier bags.

No agreement despite ‘strong interest’

PlasRecycle Chairman Paul Levett and CEO Duncan Griersondwith the before and after of the PlasRecycle process
After the company entered administration, 20 of PlasRecycle’s 36 staff were made redundant and Kelly and King were seeking an early buyer so that operations could continue past processing the material that was already on site.

However, after marketing the business for sale, the pair say that ‘a suitable price that would generate the best result for creditors has not been agreed’ despite ‘strong interest’ and discussions with several interested parties from the UK and Europe.

The equipment will now be sold by auction on 6 October, if a last-minute buyer cannot be found.

The plant’s process lines, installed between 2013 and 2016, are configured into three main sections and include MRF sortation and size reduction, dry cleaning and wet washing, densification and extrusion lines.

Hilco Global has been appointed to carry out the auction, details of which can be found on the Hilco website.

More information about PlasRecycle can be found in Resource’s past feature.

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