3 December 2019 by James Langley

Viridor strikes further Avonmouth plastics deal

Viridor has signed an agreement with packaging producer Klöckner Pentaplast (kp) to supply it with 8,000 tonnes per year of recycled plastic.

The five year deal will see food packaging specliaist kp supplied with post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) from Viridor’s £65 million plastics recycling facility in Avonmouth, once it is operational in “either 2020 or 2021”.

An artist’s impression of the Avonmouth plant, which will process 81,000 tonnes a year of plastic feedstock once operational

It will make kp Viridor’s largest rPET flake customer and subsequently its largest buyer of rPET flake in the UK.

The agreement with kp follows similar deals the company has struck recently, including with chemicals company INEOS  last month (see letsrecycle.com story) and also with consumer good company Unilever (see letsrecycle.com story).

Commenting on the deal with kp, Keith Trower, Viridor’s resource management managing director, said: “Viridor is delighted to have formed this partnership with kp, a company with which we have enjoyed a longstanding relationship.

“It is this kind of collaboration which will have a meaningful impact on creating a truly circular economy.”

‘Positive plastic’

The material supplied in the deal forms part of kp’s Positive Plastics Pledge, a plan to increase use of recycled content in its packaging, announced  in September 2018.

Adam Barnett, president of the food packaging division at kp, said: “We have celebrated the first successful year of our Positive Plastics Pledge and are proving that plastic is a valuable material. When managed responsibly through the right infrastructure, it can be collected, sorted and recycled into sustainable, recyclable packaging, while maintaining food safety, security and ultimately preventing food waste.

“We also want to take our partnership with Viridor to the next level of circularity as we continue to meet our common goals in true closed loop tray to tray recycling.”

Plant

Keith Trower, resource management director at Viridor

Once operational in 2020 or 2021, the Avonmouth plant will process 81,000 tonnes a year of plastic feedstock such as bottles, pots, tubs and trays into 60,000 tonnes a year of recycled PET, HDPE and PP in flake and pellet form.

It is to be powered by Viridor’s £252m energy recovery plant, which uses non-recyclable waste to produce electricity and heat.

Legislation

Under proposals outlined in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, producers will pay more towards the cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste.

In the budget of 2018, the government announced a new tax on plastic packaging that does not include enough recycled material, taking effect from April 2022.

This has seen some grades of recycled plastic commanding higher prices in recent months.

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