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Bottling the potential of plastic packaging

Recycling plastic polymers

At our plastics sorting facilities in Rainham, Essex and Dagenham, East London, we are sorting plastic packaging to recycle into pellets to be blown back into food packaging or milk bottles.

The UK throws away around 5.5 million tonnes of plastic bottles every year. It is a growing problem with the amount of plastic used in Western Europe estimated to be increasing at a rate of 4% every year*.

We use many grades of plastic in our households and industry. Some of it is simple to recycle and reuse, such as clear plastic bottles. Other types require more specialist treatment, such as plastic that is laminated coloured or contaminated with food or chemicals.

Therefore, plastic can be difficult to recycle, with a significant percentage going to landfill or Energy Recovery Facilities (ERFs).

What's more plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose, finding a way to unlock its potential as a resource is an important step on the road to reducing its environmental impact.

Our Rainham and Dagenham facilities receive household plastic packaging from our Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) across the country. Using high-tech equipment, we can sort up to nine polymers and colours, and process them so they can be reused to produce new food-grade bottles. Other plastics are transformed into flakes, which are then sold on to manufacturers to produce any number of new products, such as fleeces, pipes and even garden furniture.



How we sort and recycle plastic packaging into new food grade pellets.