Resource management company Veolia has demonstrated its strategic commitment to the plastics economy by acquiring manufacturing assets in East London, which will unlock the complete supply chain for manufacturing plastic bottles from recycled material.
Veolia will now be able to offer the complete range of services from collection of raw feedstock – or waste plastic bottles – direct from people’s homes or businesses, through all the recycling steps, eventually transforming them into food-grade pellets that are ready to be blown into new plastic milk bottles.
The move will boost the UK’s domestic recycling capability, create 30 permanent jobs and enable Veolia to make and sell a high value product from the 200 million plastic milk bottles it collects annually.
Currently around 13 billion soft drinks, water and milk bottles are discarded each year and globally the environmental costs are on the increase. By recycling bottles to produce new food-grade quality plastic, Veolia will make plastic more sustainable and maintain lower costs for local council authorities, the company claimed.
Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive vice-president of Veolia UK and Ireland, said: “We are very interested to collaborate in this space since co-operation with the manufacturing sector, the people actually making things from recovered materials, is essential in order to be successful for the long term.
“This is a great opportunity to work in tandem with our Rainham plastic recycling facility to turn the high density polyethylene (HDPE) milk bottles back into bottles, and we are excited at mastering the full supply chain by moving into this type of manufacturing. This shows once again Veolia’s commitment to investment in the UK.”
The new business will produce around 10,000 tonnes of high-quality food-grade HDPE pellets annually. Recycling this material requires 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle than using virgin materials, and this equates to conserving enough energy to power around 20,000 homes and saving 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
London mayor Sadiq Khan added: “I am determined to redouble efforts to increase the amount London recycles so I am delighted that Veolia has purchased this important facility. This plant will be able to recycle all of the capital’s empty milk bottles – a mountain of waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfill. This is good news for London and good news for the environment.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018
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