Company inks memorandum of understanding with Plastic Energy to explore feasibility of new facility capable of processing previously unrecyclable plastic film
Waste and resource giant Viridor has today announced that it has commenced feasibility work on a new project that would allow 30,000 tonnes of previously unrecyclable thin film plastic to be processed each year using a new technology that makes such materials 'infinitely recyclable'.
The company said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Plastic Energy, which will see the company explore whether to proceed with the project with a view to bringing the new facility online by the end of 2023.
The plan would see a new Plastic Energy chemical recycling plant co-located with one of Viridor's waste-to-energy plants. The Plastic Energy facility could then use low carbon energy from Viridor's site to power its recycling process, which transforms traditionally non-recyclable plastic waste into hydrocarbon products (TACOIL) that can then be used to make virgin-quality plastics.
Viridor would also provide waste low density plastic film to the facility, allowing it to recycle materials that were previously only useful as feedstock for energy conversion.
"This project is further evidence of Viridor's ongoing commitment to investment and innovation to push the boundaries of what is recycled and reprocessed in the United Kingdom," said Phillip Piddington, managing director of Viridor. "We are very proud to be working with Plastic Energy to develop a project which further demonstrates how all waste can be considered a resource and not rubbish and that collaboration is the key to achieving our green economy goals."
The project would result in a first step into the UK for Plastic Energy, following the successful development of two of its plants in Spain.
"We are delighted to support the development of an integrated site with Viridor in the UK and provide a solution for plastics previously not recycled," said Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. "Chemical recycling will support government's goal to move towards a circular economy and to increase recycling rates for plastics, effectively making plastic waste a valuable resource."
The news comes just a day after Dutch chemicals company Avantium revealed it was working with a host of major brands, including Carlsberg, Danone, and Coca-Cola, to plans to deliver a commercial scale bioplastics plant capable of developing fully biodegradable plant-based plastic bottles.
The company told the Observer it was aiming to greenlight investment in a new plant by the end of the year, which would then be capable of delivering biodegradable bottles by 2023.
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