A Gloucestershire plastics company is set to reprocess around 5,000 tonnes of recycling sacks, shopping bags and film each year – material that would have otherwise been sent abroad, after agreeing a two-year contract with waste management company Viridor.
The partnership with KS Plastics, which is based in Lydbrook, will give new life to plastic material sourced from material recovery facilities (MRFs) in Crayford, Milton Keynes, Masons and Plymouth.
Previously, this plastic would be sent for reprocessing at sites in the Far East and, more recently, in Turkey.
Keith Trower, managing director at Viridor Resource Management (VRM), said the company was committed to establishing long term and sustainable outlets for all material streams: “VRM is actively seeking opportunities to agree end-of-waste contracts with reprocessors here in the UK where this demand and capacity exists.
“The resource market remains a global market, governed by the basic principles of supply and demand, but we recognise public sentiment that the UK should find a way to deal with its own waste. This was the view of four in five people polled in Viridor’s 2018 Recycling Index and this is reflected in our focus on companies which are investing in the UK and Europe to meet the capacity gap in UK waste production and our reprocessing of certain grades of polymer.”
He added: “These partnerships offer real opportunities for UK companies to come together to advance recycling and circular economy ambitions, giving the public added confidence that their efforts at home can see materials go on to live another life, moving away from a disposable society.”
KS Plastics operates a wash plant and reprocessing facility at a site on the Stowfield Business Park which produces flakes and pellets. The company, which was set up in 2017, has invested around £1.5 million in the new reprocessing facility, which includes two washing lines with an annual overall capacity of 24,000 tonnes. End products from the site will predominantly be used as a feedstock in insulation.
Kai Ma, Managing Director of KS Plastics, said: “Our focus is on adding much-needed plastic processing capacity to the UK. We have chosen to target the lower end of the value chain to create something unique to the market. This is a three-polymer pellet which allows for low grade films to be processed quickly. We believe this may be unique in the UK, with other processors hand sorting to process one type of polymer.
“Our product, both flake and pellet, can be used in a number of applications to give this material new life but at present it is predominantly in demand in the insulation market.
“We are happy to be working with Viridor to offer a secure and viable UK recycling route for this material. Such partnerships are imperative to encourage investment in the UK.”