Hi-tech plastics recycling plant opens

A state of the art plastics recycling facility - believed to be the largest of its kind in the UK - has been opened in Lancashire.

The multi-million pound plant in Skelmersdale will be able to process an estimated 30,000 tonnes of used plastic bottles a year.

Bosses of Intercontinental Recycling Limited, which has built and will operate the new plant, say there is a growing demand for recycled polymers in the UK.

They hope the facility will reduce the amount of used plastics being exported to foreign countries.

Managing director Ravi Chanrai said: “Identifying the need for more effective plastics recycling in the UK, we have developed a unique facility to sort and reprocess a variety of plastic bottles into high quality end-use products.”

Company chiefs said the new plant has state of the art technology such as infra-red detectors that will sort and separate mixed plastics before reprocessing.

The plastics will then be converted into recycled flakes of polyethylene teraphthalate (PET) and pellets of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for premium markets.

More than £50,000 of the funding for the new facility came from the Alliance and Leicester Commercial Bank.

Iain Bomber, business development manager at Alliance and Leicester, said: “The Intercontinental Recycling plant is one of, if not the, most technologically advanced in the UK, and we are delighted to have been able to support such an exciting project.

“Alliance and Leicester’s dedicated waste management team was established three years ago and over that time we have developed an in-depth understanding of the needs of recycling organisations.

“Over the last 12 months, we have seen a significant increase in the amount of funding we provide to the UK waste management sector.”

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie