Nestlé UK and Ireland has teamed up with Plastic Energy, a chemical recycling company, to explore the development of a recycling plant for end-of-life plastics in the UK.
Through the new partnership, the companies will conduct a preliminary study in early November with the aim of developing the new plant, and say it will take around six months to complete.
The facility would reportedly be the first commercial large-scale facility of its kind in the UK and will be used to create food-grade plastics, enabling Nestlé to increase the amount of recycled plastic that it uses in its products.
Founded in 2015, Plastic Energy uses and develops specialist recycling technology to transform traditionally hard-to-recycle plastic packaging – such as confectionery wrappers, dry pet food pouches and breakfast cereal bags – into recycled oils called TACOIL. These recycled oils can then be used as a replacement for fossil oils to make virgin-quality plastics that can be used for food-grade packaging.
“The issue of packaging waste is one where we all have a role to play, to not only cut our use of virgin plastic, but also make sure the plastic in our packaging has a second life. We are working hard to create a circular life span for our packaging so it can have multiple lives and uses, and partnering with Plastic Energy is just one of the ways we are taking steps forward on this journey,” said group packaging manager at Nestlé UK and Ireland, Alison Bramfitt.
She added: “We want to increase the amount of recycled plastic we use but there are currently real challenges in the supply of recycled content for food packaging in the UK. That’s why we are excited about the potential of this partnership with Plastic Energy. We hope the outcome of the feasibility study will help offer more insight into the options for supporting the infrastructure in recycling capability in this country.”
Plastic Energy currently has two similar recycling plants in Spain.
Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO of Plastic Energy, said: “We are excited to partner with Nestlé on this project which we hope will pave the way for brands to start incorporating more recycled content into their products. Our goal at Plastic Energy is to support a circular economy for plastics by recycling end-of-life plastics that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration.”
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