Coca-Cola bottle recycling plant set to expand

ECO Plastics has received planning permission for a £15 million expansion at its Hemswell plastic bottle recycling facility.

Peter Gangsted holding a container of rPET pellet

Peter Gangsted holding a container of rPET pellet

The expanded plant - a joint venture between the company and Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) - will supply food-grade recycled PET to CCE.

The joint venture was signed in March. Having secured planning approval from Lincolnshire County Council, ECO Plastics will develop a purpose-built facility to run in tandem with its existing plant.

The agreement, the first of its kind in Britain, will see ECO Plastics continue to source, sort and clean used plastics, which will then be made into rPET flakes.

Having been extruded into food-grade rPET pellet in the new facility, these will then be utilised to produce preforms which will be blown into Coca Cola's world famous bottles.

The expansion will increase capacity at the site from 100,000 tonnes to 140,000 tonnes of plastic per year - just under 50% of the total plastic bottles collected within the UK last year.

Of this, 40,000 tonnes will be food grade rPET pellet, an increase of 25,000 tonnes per year from the plant's current capacity, almost 70% of domestic production.

In addition to having signed a ten year off-take contract, CCE will also provide £5 million towards the creation of the new facility. ECO Plastics will raise the remaining £10 million needed.

Chairman of ECO Plastics chairman, Peter Gangsted, said: ""We will not take our foot off the pedal and expect to start construction over the summer in order to have the site operational in time for the 2012 Olympics."

CCE's commercial recycling manager, Nick Brown, added: "Coca-Cola Enterprises has committed to incorporating 25% of rPET pellet into all our plastic bottles in Britain by 2012."

Maxine Perella



Waste & resource management
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