Biffa Polymers Reopens UK Plastics Recycling Line

Company had shuttered the mixed plastics line in late 2012.

December 18, 2013

Biffa Polymers has announced it has reopened the post-consumer plastics recycling line at its Redcar, U.K., facility, following what it calls a major plant upgrade. The upgrade, including investments in new equipment, will allow the facility to run at full capacity, says Biffa.

“It’s great news for all concerned that our Redcar plant is now fully back in business,” says Chris Hanlon, Biffa Polymers’ commercial manager. “Recovering value from waste is what Biffa does best and at Biffa Polymers we’re completely focused on maximizing the recovery of plastics collected throughout the U.K. To be able to include the post-consumer line again at Redcar is an impressive achievement.”

Biffa Polymers says it constructed the first commercially viable recycled HDPE food grade production plant back in 2008, with the post-consumer line added in 2011. Biffa says its research in the area has determined that by focusing on a post-consumer plastics stream that returns the most benefit the post-consumer line can be brought back into action.

“Our commitment to the recycling of post-consumer plastics has never waned,” says Hanlon. “We have worked tirelessly to overcome the barriers encountered in the running of the plant. Thanks to the expertise and efforts of the Biffa Polymers team, we are now fully back in business at the U.K.’s largest plastics recycling site.”

Biffa says the plant was the first in the world to recycle plastic milk bottles back into a food-approved compound. Currently in the U.K. all new milk bottles are made up of a minimum of 15 percent recycled material, the majority of which is currently supplied by Biffa Polymers, according to the company.

Biffa Polymers says when it first opened the new mixed plastics recycling line about 18 months ago it experienced challenges in recovering material of a high-enough quality and yield.

The line was closed in December 2012, after the company made a decision to upgrade the plant and overcome the hurdles faced there.

The revamped line is able to process 1,000 metric tons of mixed plastics each month. The company says it is considering expanding its operation in the spring of 2014.