Swindon eyes up ground-breaking facility that recycles ‘all plastic’

As things stand

The proposed facility would employ a feedstock recycling machine provided by specialists Recycling Technology, which can convert plastic waste back into oil, from which new plastics can be made.

In doing so, it is said that Swindon would host the first advanced plastics recycling facility (aPRF) site in England, and the second such building in the UK.

Adrian Griffiths, chief executive and founder of Recycling Technologies, said: “We are delighted that Swindon, the home of our manufacturing facility and HQ, is hoping to also be the home of England’s first aPRF which includes our RT7000 feedstock recycling machine.

“There is an urgent need for more plastic recycling capacity in the UK to not only stem the flow of plastics into landfill and our environment, but to also create jobs and boost economic prosperity across the region.”

The machine works by heating up plastic in the absence of oxygen to break the waste plastic down into oil. This process allows the machine to recycle plastics commonly considered unrecyclable such as plastic film, food pouches and crisp packets.

Plastic problems

As things stand, major problems in the plastic recycling industry are costing local councils in England up to £500,000 extra a year, as they struggle to deal with the continuing fallout from import bans imposed by countries who are no longer able to take the UK’s waste.

Most local authorities collect plastic bottles, but some councils are on the brink of ending plastic collections amid fears the plastic will end up polluting the oceans when exported.

Swindon Borough Council has previously it will have more control over its plastic waste by collecting it with mainstream rubbish and drying it out at its own waste-to-fuel plant, which provides energy for the concrete industry in France. Swindon is one of the few councils to own a waste-to-fuel plant.

Today’s news comes a month after the Government’s Resources & Waste Strategy pledged to boost the UK’s circular economy prospects through a major overhaul of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system. It is hoped that packaging reform will raise between £0.5bn-£1bn a year for recycling and disposal.

George Ogleby

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