Food packaging recycling plant creates 20 jobs

Biffa’s £7M investment in its Redcar recycling facility will create 20 jobs. Ceo Ian Wakelin (left) with Biffa Polymers’ general manager Owen Franklin

Up to 20 new jobs are to be created at a food packaging recycling plant in North Yorkshire, following a £7M investment from waste management firm Biffa.

A second recycling line at its plant in Redcar, Cleveland, will enable Biffa Polymers, Biffa’s plastics recycling business, to double its output of recycled High Density Polyethylene (rHDPE) to 18,000t a year. RHDPE is commonly used to make milk bottles and food trays.

The Redcar facility operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days per year. It has been modernised as a result of the investment.

Provide extra capacity

The new line – officially opened by Biffa ceo Ian Wakelin – will provide extra capacity for plastics recycling at a time when the wider plastics recycling industry was experiencing instability, claimed Biffa.

Wakelin said: “The creation of a new rHDPE line at our Redcar plant will put capacity back into the market to meet the growing demand that we are seeing, which is particularly important given events in the plastics recycling industry.”

“Enabling us to double our output, this investment in our facilities and the additional infrastructure it provides will also mean that more discarded plastic generated by UK households can be processed here in the UK rather than being sent abroad for processing.”

Biffa Polymers’ commercial director Chris Hanlon said the new plastics recycling line was a real boost for the company and would help secure its position as an industry leader in the UK. 

‘Creating a significant number of jobs’

“The investment is also great news for the region, creating a significant number of jobs for local people,” he added.

Established 25 years ago, Biffa Polymers was one of the first companies in the UK to achieve food grade status for its rHPDE. To date, the polymers facility has reprocessed over 3bn plastic bottles.

Meanwhile, last month, recycling technology consultancy Nextek md Ed Kosoir called on the plastics packaging supply chain to commit to using food grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate in its containers.

He also urged packaging suppliers to take a direct financial stake in collection and recycling infrastructure.

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