Plastics recycling firm Monoworld Recycling is accepting mixed plastic polymers for sorting, following the opening of its £9 million plastics recycling facility (PRF) in Rushden, Northamptonshire.
The site, which the company claims is the UK’s first mixed plastics to extrusion HDPE and PP recycling facility, will have the capacity to recover close to 100,000 tonnes of material per year.
The site was opened in January and includes a post-consumer mixed plastics recycling facility, and a wash and granulation line. Material comes from waste management businesses and local authorities. A total of 120 jobs were created as a result of the opening of the site, the company says.
The new facility is capable of processing up to 10 tonnes per hour of material using sensor technology provided by TOMRA Sorting. ‘Autosort’ units have been installed to separate bales of plastics into PET, HDPE, PP, film, paper, steel and aluminium.
According to Monoworld, the recovered HDPE and PP materials are used in-house in the hot wash plant, producing high quality washed flakes which are supplied back to extrusion, injection moulding and pipe applications in UK and Europe.
Other recovered material fractions – including PE natural and jazz and PET – are sold to customers in the UK and Europe. Monoworld claims that the PRF is also capable of handling post-consumer pots, tubs, trays and mixed bottles, with TOMRA’s technology able to sort black plastics from post-consumer trays.
Nick Ruparelia, commercial director of Monoworld Recycling, said: “This is a major step forward, enabling us to recover a significantly higher tonnage of material that can be processed in-house, and opening up new market opportunities for the sale of recycled material in the UK and Europe thanks to the enhanced material quality grades being produced.”
He added: “With local authorities increasingly favouring comingled dry recyclable collections, there is greater demand for sorting facilities such as those found at our new Rushden PRF. Previously, we’ve only been able to process source-segregated materials at our recycling plant in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire but now, thanks to the upgrade at the plant and the new TOMRA equipment, we’re in a position to accept and process all of the material from our retail, local authority and waste collection customers.”
Commenting on the development, Claire Shrewsbury, programme area manager for plastics at WRAP, said: “The focus on effective separation of household plastics and further reprocessing of the polypropylene and polythene fractions will give local authorities and waste management contractors the confidence required to continue to increase collections of non-bottle household plastic packaging in support of UK plastics recycling targets through to 2020 and beyond.”