Plastics Recycling Investment

WRAP Completes Plastic Recycling Research

Plastics Recycling
Plastics Recycling

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has concluded a series of work on plastics recycling that it is hoped will stimulate investment in the sector, and help to boost recycling rates for the material.

The organisation has published a series of reports on plastics recycling, which includes work on developing end markets for the commercial recycling of PET pots, tubs and trays as well as work to assess the viability of using machine readable inks to make the sorting of food-grade packaging more accurate.

Results of an in-market trial on the collection, sorting and reprocessing of black plastic food trays, carried out jointly by WRAP, retailers, local authorities, waste management firm Biffa, plastics body Recoup and plastics producers have also been published today.

Work on clear PET pots, tubs and trays was carried out in order to address the lack of end markets for the material, which according to WRAP represents a significant proportion of the household plastic waste stream.

Recycled Plastic (PET) Lack of End Markets

Work on clear PET pots, tubs and trays was carried out in order to address the lack of end markets for the material, which according to WRAP represents a significant proportion of the household plastic waste stream.

The project reviewed existing practices and possible markets to separate and reprocess clear PET PTT collected from households. This was undertaken through identification of end markets, technical trials, and assessment of financial viability.

According to WRAP, around 39,000 tonnes of the material could feasibly be reprocessed in the UK, if the material can achieve a value of around £190 per tonne. Potential new markets identified by WRAP include reprocessing into PET sheet, coloured PET bottles, pipe, pallet or fibre production. The project followed two loads of clear PET PTTs collected from Veolia through the stages of reprocessing and to product manufacture. Material was sent to Anson Packaging to assess the technical viability of using the flake as rPET sheet in the manufacture of new trays. Material was also sent to Solocup Europe to prove that PET from PTTs can be used for mono-thermoforming material. For the third packaging trial, pellet was produced by PET Processors and then sent to RPC, Blackburn, to use in the production process for injection moulded containers.

Plastics Recycling Report Conclusion

“The data indicates a potential requirement for nine clear PET PTT process lines by 2017 representing an investment cost of £31m. This increases to 11 process lines by 2020 with a total investment cost of £39m. This review assumes that 100% of material is retained for reprocessing in the UK, but does not account for any potential imports of clear PET tray bales.” WRAP is now seeking to form a working group following on from the findings of the report to assess the technical and financial results of the project and to develop a road map to progressing the clear PET PTT recycling opportunity during 2015.

Additional Drive to Recycling Plastics

WRAP has also published reports on sorting technologies, the plastics received by Materials Recycling Facilities (MRF’s) from commingled household collections, recycling trials for CPET Black Plastic Trays in conjunction with Marks & Spencer.

Download the reports here:

Recycled from  http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/wrap-concludes-major-plastics-recycling-research/