The plastic sorting plant, installed at its Castleford site in West Yorkshire, will enable the firm to take bales of mixed plastics and 3D materials, collected from the kerbside, and sort them by polymer type, colour and even sift out metals, paper and other residual waste - keeping more plastic out of landfill, incinerators and the ocean.
The three-figure investment, which covers purchase of the plant, civil engineering and installation costs, will allow Bright Green Plastics, which has been reprocessing waste plastic for over 25 years, to buy material from the wider market and eliminate reliance on purchasing pre-sorted bales from other processors. Not only will this bring commercial benefits to the business, but increase its supply of high quality, sorted materials to feed into their recycling process, and, in turn, create extra capacity by increasing yield and reducing non target materials.
Steve Spencer, managing director at Bright Green Plastics, comments on just some of the benefits the new sorting plant will bring: "This investment will reduce the core costs within our business, however, we are also excited by the fact it will create more jobs in an area, whilst boosting the UK plastic reprocessing industry - which has been badly affected by COVID19, by creating more recycling capacity."
The plant was originally planned to open in January 2020, but this was forced on hold due to the pandemic. However, now it's up-and-running, the team at Bright Green Plastics are confident it will have a significant impact on the amount of reusable plastic that's currently being exported out of the UK. Steve Spencer elaborates: "The new UK sorting plant is likely to discourage exporting of mixed materials due to this new UK based processing capacity to sort the plastics into single stream polymers prior to recycling."
The plant, which uses state-of-the-art, infrared technology to sort the materials, is managed by Craig Davison who adds: "We're set to play a key role in increasing the UK's recycling capacity. Getting to work with the very latest technology to keep perfectly good, recyclable plastic in the UK is a huge step in the right direction for our industry after what's been an extremely challenging time."
The new Castleford sorting plant is phase one of Bright Green Plastic's long-term investment plan, where the business is set to further upgrade the equipment to continue to keep up with the demand of recycling services inline with the introduction of the UK plastic tax in 2022, where it will be compulsory for all UK manufacturers and producers to incorporate at least 30% of recycling plastic material into plastic packaging to avoid being hit with a large tax bill.
To discover more about the UK plastic tax, visit https://brightgreenplastics.com/uk-plastic-tax