UK | In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable practices, a new plastic recycling plant is set to launch in Durham, fueled by a significant investment from Nestlé UK and Ireland.
The facility, operated by Impact Recycling, will specialise in processing challenging flexible plastics commonly found in food packaging. These plastics will be transformed into pellets, suitable for creating a range of flexible products, including postbags and refuse bags.
Nestlé has committed a £7 million loan to support Impact Recycling in implementing its pioneering process, named the Baffled Oscillation Separation System (BOSS). This innovative system efficiently separates waste plastics by spinning them in water, causing materials to either sink or float based on their density. This method simplifies the recycling process by ensuring the correct materials are targeted.
The site, operational by late Summer 2024, aims to process 25,000 tonnes of flexible plastic annually, producing pellets that can replace virgin plastic films in construction, agriculture, and bin bag manufacturing. Notably, the facility has the potential to recycle more than the total amount of flexible plastic packaging introduced by Nestlé UK and Ireland to the market.
Various Nestlé products, including KitKat wrappers, Purina pet food pouches, Rowntree confectionery sharing bags, and Nestlé Cereal bags, will be collected from major supermarket collection points for recycling.
Sokhna Gueye, Head of Packaging at Nestlé UK & Ireland, shared enthusiasm about collaborating with Impact Recycling, emphasising Nestlé's commitment to multiple-use packaging and waste reduction. The company aims to design nearly 100 percent of its packaging for recycling by 2025 in the UK and Ireland.
David Walsh, CEO of Impact Recycling, said he was grateful for Nestlé's funding, highlighting how this collaboration has played a significant role in developing a 25,000-tonne recycling plant for post-consumer flexible plastic. He commended Nestlé's commitment to innovation and sustainable solutions for plastic packaging.
Paul Davidson, Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge Director at Innovate UK, lauded the project's support, emphasising its significance in advancing the UK's capacity to recycle flexible plastic packaging and contributing to Plastic Pact targets.