Impact Recycling is opening a plastic recycling plant in Durham with a significant investment from Nestlé UK and Ireland.
To get the facility operational, Impact Recycling has received funding from both a £7 million loan from Nestlé and a grant from Innovate UK. The site is set to open in late summer 2024.
The new facility will process flexible plastics typically used in food packaging. These ‘hard-to-recycle’ plastics will be converted into pellets which can be used to make new flexible products such as postbags and refuse bags.
The innovative process, known as ‘Baffled Oscillation Separation System’ or ‘BOSS,’ sorts the waste plastics by spinning them in water. Depending on their density the different materials will either sink or float, making it easier to take the correct materials to be recycled.
The site will have the capacity to take 25,000 tonnes of this plastic, a figure which surpasses the amount of flexible plastic packaging Nestlé UK and Ireland produces. The pellets can be used to replace virgin plastic films in construction and agriculture as well as to make bin bags.
Packaging from Nestlé-owned brands, such as KitKat wrappers, Purina pet food pouches, Rowntree confectionery sharing bags and Nestlé Cereal bags, will be collected from major supermarket collection points so they can be recycled.
David Walsh, CEO of Impact Recycling, said: “We are delighted to partner with Nestle on this initiative to develop a 25,000-tonne commercial recycling plant for post-consumer flexible plastic. Without the funding from Nestlé, this development would not have been possible.”
Sokhna Gueye, head of packaging at Nestlé UK & Ireland, said: “At Nestlé, we are dedicated to ensuring our packaging can have multiple lives and doesn’t end up as waste in landfills. Supporting innovative technologies like this is just one of the many steps we are taking towards achieving this goal.”
“In the UK and Ireland, our efforts continue at pace to ensure as close to 100% of our packaging is designed for recycling by 2025, and we continue to work towards all of our packaging being recyclable or reusable. It is fantastic to see our packaging given a second life, and we are looking at many partnerships to help encourage the collection and recycling infrastructure in the UK.”
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