UK Plastics Recycler Expands

Closed Loop Recycling adds to its HDPE recycling capacity.

November 20, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Plastics

Closed Loop Recycling has announced plans to significantly expand its HDPE recycling capabilities to meet the growing demands of the dairy industry, which is increasingly requiring higher levels of recycled HDPE in its milk bottles.

The U.K.-based company, which describes itself as the first company in the world to recycle both PET and HDPE plastic bottles into food-grade material for new food and drink packaging, is implementing an expansion that it says will double the supply of recycled HDPE to the U.K. market, more than meeting the expected demand from the dairy industry as it works towards higher recycled content targets.

The company adds that the investment in the new infrastructure will make Closed Loop Recycling the biggest recycler of milk bottles in the world. It will increase capacity at its Dagenham, U.K. plant to 55,000 metric tons per year per year, creating the most advanced plastics purification facility in the U.K.

"Recycled milk bottles are a massive win for the circular economy,” says Chris Dow, CEO of Closed Loop Recycling. “The increased demand for recycled content is an example of the whole industry working together – retailers, producers, brands and industry bodies – to implement an ambitious plan. This has created a sustainable business model with enormous potential for the future.

“There has been a huge commitment from the companies in this sector, including our customers, who have invested in technology and plants to complete the HDPE recycling loop.  I am confident that our expansion will bring the 2020 target of 50 percent recycled material in plastic bottles closer,” continues Dow.

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP comments: “Closed Loop Recycling’s expansion in order to meet forecast demand for recycled content in milk bottle packaging is the perfect example of how businesses can work together to achieve the economic and environmental benefits of a circular economy. It’s great to see circular economy ideas being converted into positive action.”

Closed Loop Recycling also announced plans to implement an awareness campaign with local authorities to increase collection rates of milk bottles.

As a result of a joint agreement with the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC), Closed Loop Recycling has leased an additional three acres adjacent to its existing Dagenham site to help facilitate any future expansion, in order to realize its growth plans and meet demand for recycled food grade products.

Closed Loop Recycling’s Dagenham plant has been operating since December 2008. Its current capacity allows for the production of 35,000 metric tons of mixed plastic bottles, producing 11,000 metric tons of recycled PET and 6,000 metric tons of recycled HDPE per year.