Planning consent has been granted to build what its developer Enviroo calls the UK’s first plastics recycling facility, at Peel NRE’s 133-acre energy hub in Ellesmere Port.
The £20m plant at Peel NRE’s £165m Plastic Park at Protos in Cheshire is expected to be operational by summer 2022, according to Enviroo.
The spcialist PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycling company submitted its application for the facility in December. The scheme is designed to take PET – the main material used for food and beverage packaging, such as plastic bottles – and turn it into polymers that can be used to make new food packaging products.
Enviroo claims its facility in Cheshire will be able to recycle 100% of the PET material it takes in, helping to recycle some of the 4.9 million tonnes of plastic waste created in the UK annually.
This will become increasingly important from this time next year, the developer said, when a new law is introduced to tax any company that produces packaging that contains less than 30% recycled PET. Some manufacturers have gone further, pledging to include up to 50% recycled material in their packaging under the UK Plastics Pact.
Cheshire West & Chester Council approved the application, which was handled by planning and environmental consultancy Axis on behalf of Enviroo, this week.
Ahmed Detta, chief executive and founder of Enviroo, said: “After a positive consultation with the community, we look forward to being able to get down to business and deal with plastic waste here on our shores and importantly help to create a greener North West.
“Our first facility will hopefully be one of many as the company looks to provide a solution for packaging manufacturers who are preparing for the upcoming plastic tax legislation. Our facilities will provide the recycled PET manufacturers need in their products, while reducing the amount of virgin plastic.”
The Plastic Park at Protos will aim to cluster together plastic recycling and recovery technologies to create value from plastic waste, helping it avoid being sent to landfill, ending up in our oceans, or being exported overseas.
“Less than one third of all plastic waste in the UK is recycled,” noted Jayne Hennessy, development manager at Peel NRE, the environmental arm of developer Peel L&P.
“We are creating the UK’s first Plastic Park at Protos which will increase recycling rates, reducing landfill and the export of waste. We will be able to use technology and improved infrastructure to process many types of plastics collected by local authorities, hopefully giving them the confidence to collect a wider range of plastic in the future.”