To tackle the problem of plastic waste in the UK, leading resource management company, Veolia, has now expanded its plastic recycling operations to process over 100 different grades of plastic from consumer, commercial and industrial sources. By increasing the scale of recycling by 8,000 tonnes per year, and extending the scope of the recycling operations the company is supporting the target of reducing plastic leakage into the environment, promoting the UK to UK plastic circular economy, and passing these materials back into the supply chain for reuse.
Working from three dedicated sites in London, Essex and the Midlands the company can now provide a complete range of services from collection of raw feedstock direct from people’s homes or businesses, through all the recycling steps, and back to plastic pellets ready to be used to manufacture new plastic items. Backing the operations is the support team that can ensure compliance with the complex legislation involved in the reprocessing of these materials, and Veolia’s own Sustainable Packaging Academy which was established last year.
Some of the pre-consumer items that can now be recycled include:
⦁ High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) used to make film containers, bottles and carrier bags.
⦁ Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) is used for caps, plugs, netting, shrink wrap, and garment bags.
⦁ Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastics include mouldings, lump and trays.
⦁ Polycarbonate (PC) applications include CD’s and DVD’s, headlamp lenses, electronic component housing, mobile phones and conservatory roofing
⦁ Recycle Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE) most containers, vegetable oil bottles and detergent bottles.
⦁ Polypropylene (PP) used for refrigerated containers, yogurt containers, bottle tops, carpets, brewery crates, and food wraps.
⦁ Polystyrene (PS) found in utensils and protective packaging.
⦁ Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride (V) is used in the manufacture of food wraps, blister packages, health and beauty bottles, and the UPVC used in fascia and window manufacture.
Commenting on the latest initiative Tim Duret, Director of Sustainable Technology Veolia UK and Ireland said:
“The green recovery and climate change must be priorities, and a key part of this is to tackle the problem of plastics getting into the environment. As recycling plastic uses 75% less energy than using virgin material the process lowers carbon, and if all plastic were recycled this could mean annual savings of 30 to 150 million tonnes of CO2.”
“We are committed to a sustainable and circular future for the plastics economy, and look forward to working with commerce, industry and communities to capture, process and recycle this useful material, and protect our environment for the future .”
Internationally Veolia is part of the cross value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), currently made up of nearly thirty member companies, and this has committed over $1.0 billion with the goal of investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment. The Alliance will develop and bring to scale solutions that will minimize and manage plastic waste and promote solutions for used plastics by helping to enable a circular economy. The Alliance membership represents global companies located throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.