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November 29, 2023
2 Min Read
Nestlé UK is investing in a UK recycling center focusing on processing flexible plastics into pellets.Image courtesy of Nestlé UK
A new plastic recycling plant is set to open in Durham, North England, with a significant investment from Nestlé UK and Ireland.
Impact Recycling will open the new facility to process hard-to-recycle flexible plastics, typically used in food packaging, into pellets which can be used to make new flexible products such as postbags and refuse bags.
Nestlé will provide Impact Recycling with a £7 million ($8.8 million) loan to get its process off the ground, and with a grant from Innovate UK, the site is set to be operational in late summer 2024.
“I am thrilled to be joining forces with Impact Recycling and helping fund this new plant in Durham," said Sokhna Gueye, head of Packaging at Nestlé UK & Ireland. " At Nestlé, we are dedicated to ensuring our packaging can have multiple lives and doesn't end up as waste in landfill. Supporting innovative technologies like this is just one of the many steps we are taking towards achieving this goal."
The innovative process, known as Baffled Oscillation Separation System, or BOSS, sorts the waste plastics by spinning them in water, meaning that different materials either sink or float, depending on their density. This makes it easier to take the correct materials to be recycled.
When open, the site will have the capacity to take 25,000 tonnes of the plastic and produce the pellets, which can be used to replace virgin plastic films in construction and agriculture, as well as or to make bin bags. This means the facility has the potential to recycle more than the amount of flexible plastic packaging Nestlé UK and Ireland places on the market.
Packaging such as KitKat wrappers, Purina pet food pouches, Rowntree confectionery sharing bags, and Nestlé Cereal bags will be collected from major supermarket collection points so they can be recycled.
“We are delighted to partner with Nestle on this initiative to develop a 25,000-tonne commercial recycling plant for post-consumer flexible plastic. Without the funding from Nestlé this development would not have been possible, said David Walsh, CEO of Impact Recycling. “Through this funding, Nestlé demonstrates its unwavering commitment to innovation and the pursuit of sustainable solutions for plastic packaging.”
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