A new recycling facility co-owned by supermarket Morrisons is now open in Fife which will reprocess “hard-to-recycle” soft plastics.
Morrisons says the site is the first of its kind that can process a mix of plastics, including film, into reusable materials. It aims to develop a greater plastics recycling infrastructure in the UK to keep the material in a closed loop and prevent it from being exported overseas.
The site is co-owned by Morrisons and was constructed and will be operated by recycling plant specialists Yes Recycling. Several organisations, including Nestlé UK & Ireland and Zero Waste Scotland, have also been involved in the development of the recycling plant.
Jamie Winter, Procurement Director at Morrisons, commented: “We’ve done a significant amount of work to reduce our plastic use and now we want to help build a UK infrastructure to recycle the plastic that we may still need to use. By recycling these problematic plastics here in the UK we can give them a new life.”
By recycling these problematic plastics here in the UK we can give them a new life.
Morrisons says the new recycling plant uses patented technology, developed over the last seven years. It will turn hard-to-recycle flexible food packaging into plastic flakes, pellets and new Ecosheet, an environmentally-friendly alternative to plywood.
At full capacity, the supermarket says the site will recycle 15,000 tonnes of post-consumer plastic packaging per year.
The hard-to-recycle soft plastic – including chocolate wrappers, crisp packets and food film – will be sent to the site from Morrisons distribution sites and stores by Cireco Scotland which operates Fife Council’s household kerbside collection service and who also separates the plastics ready for recycling.
Fife is currently one of a limited number of local councils that collect and segregate hard-to-recycle plastic from its customer collections and send it to a recycling facility, Morrisons says.
The UK is in desperate need of more plastic recycling capacity.
Commenting on the announcement, Omer Kutluoglu, Co-owner of Yes Recycling, said: “The UK is in desperate need of more plastic recycling capacity and, in particular, for the so-called ‘hard-to-recycle’ plastic waste such as flexible food packaging.
“Our new ‘next-generation’ recycling plant, which we’ve developed over the last seven years, is designed to tackle exactly these materials. It is a blueprint for the future and will help to kick-start the UK’s plastics recycling industry. It will mean we can keep plastic in our own country’s circular economy and out of our seas and oceans.”