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Yes Recycling enters administration

Yes Recycling, the company which operates a soft plastic recycling facility in Scotland in partnership with Morrisons, has entered into administration.

Morrisons recycling
Morrisons acquired a 'significant stake' in the soft plastics plant in 2021 and declared it open earlier this year

On Friday, 20 April, Stuart Preston and Julie Tait of Grant Thornton UK LLP, were appointed as joint administrators of Yes Recycling (Fife) Limited.

Yes Recycling owns a 15,000 tonnes per year capacity soft plastics plant in Fife. In November 2021, supermarket chain Morrisons acquired a “significant stake in the plant” and declared it open in February (see letsrecycle.com story).

The retailer said material collected in-store by Morrisons will be sent to its distribution centre in Bellshill before being sent to the plant.

However the administrators said on Friday that the plant has yet to reach full capacity despite the “significant investment in the new facility”. This caused cashflow difficulties, leading to the administration.

The company was unable to pay its debts as they fell due

  • Grant Thornton

Facility

Based on the Whitehill Industrial Estate, Glenrothes, Yes Recycling’s soft plastics plant employs around 60 people.

The administrators explained that the site is equipped with “state-of-the-art equipment”.

Julie Tait, restructuring director at Grant Thornton and one of the Joint Administrators, said: “While the business has invested heavily in state-of-the-art recycling equipment, it had not yet been able to operate at full capacity and this has resulted in cash flow challenges in recent weeks. The company was unable to pay its debts as they fell due resulting in our appointment as Joint Administrators.

“This is a disappointing outcome for all those associated with the company, and our immediate priority is to support the company’s 60 employees while we assess the company’s financial position and seek a buyer for its business and/or assets.”

The remainder of the Yes Recycling Group, which is headquartered in Buckinghamshire, is unaffected by the administration of the Scottish business.

Soft plastics

When announcing the facility open, Morrisons said the facility will use soft plastic to create EcoSheet, which Morrisons described as an “environmentally friendly alternative to plywood”.

The co-owner of Yes Recycling, Omer Kutluoglu, said in February when opening the plant: “Our new ‘next-generation’ recycling plant, which we’ve developed over the last seven years, is designed to tackle exactly these materials. It is a blueprint for the future and will help to kick-start the UK’s plastics recycling industry. It will mean we can keep plastic in our own country’s ‘circular economy’ and out of our seas and oceans.”

Morrisons said it was the first supermarket to own its own recycling operations through the acquisition of a
significant stake in the Fife site.

Funding

The future of the facility itself is unclear as Morrisons has not disclosed the stake it owns in the site and a buyer could yet be found for Yes Recycling.

However, the news will be worrying for those invested in the company or the site. Yes Recycling secured a ‘pre-investment’ of £1.65 million for its Fife plant by Nestlé UK and Ireland in September 2021 (see letsrecycle.com story).

The news could be bad news for Fife council, too. The authority last year invested £470,000 in a machine enabling it to separate film at its MRFs, with a view to sending it to the Yes Recycling plant (see letsrecycle.com story).

Other companies involved in the site include Cireco and Zero Waste Scotland, among others.

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