Mixed plastic bottle recycling firm reopens after blaze

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Recycling Recyclable materials

Europe’s largest plastic bottle recycling facility is set to officially reopen its doors today following a fire at the UK based site last year.

The AWS Eco Plastics Lincolnshire-based plant can sort 100,000 tonnes of mixed plastic bottles per annum, which it claims represents 40 per cent of the UK's plastic waste.

The company said that, in addition to sorting and cleaning the bottles, it will also recycle, on the same site, a high percentage of the sorted plastic into food grade material for reuse in new plastic bottles and packaging.

Making food grade plastic packaging from recycled material is extremely cost effective, argues AWS.

In July this year, the plastic sorting company published the results of a study from Carbonify, which it said indicate that the carbon cost of producing AWS’ food grade rPET pellet, purePET 78, for 2010 was 254kg per tonne compared to the carbon cost of producing virgin PET which stood then at 681 kg per tonne.

“This equates to a saving of 63 per cent compared with the production of virgin material," ​claims the recycling firm.

“These figures will further improve during 2011, with the carbon cost of purePET 78 dropping to 213 kg per tonne, as the plant reaches its full capacity and enjoys the associated economies of scale.

Based the current agreement to supply APPE 13,000 tonnes of purePET 78 annually, AWS will be achieving a carbon saving, during 2011, of 6,084 tonnes, the equivalent to removing over 1,700 cars from our roads on an annual basis,”​ added AWS.

AWS managing director Jonathan Short recently told Green Business ​that: “There is room for more recycling capacity in the UK, the supply of materials is there, the demand is there, now we just need stability in the market to give people the confidence to invest.”

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