Closed Loop to create UK's most sophisticated plastics purification plant - Business Minister Mark Prisk welcomes expansion

Closed Loop Recycling, the innovative recycler who was the first in the world to recycle both PET and HDPE plastic bottles into food grade material for new food and drink packaging in which Foresight is an investor, has announced extensive expansion plans which will double the current capacity of its Dagenham plant to 60,000 tonnes, creating the most advanced plastics purification facility in the UK. The expansion has been welcomed by, Business Minister Mark Prisk who commended the company’s contribution to the new green economy.

Closed Loop Recycling has been at the forefront of the UK plastic recycling industry which has gone from almost zero to £60 million in just five years and this new £12m expansion will further enable the company take real action to support Britain’s challenging waste stream.

As a result of a joint agreement with the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC), Closed Loop Recycling will purchase an additional three acres adjacent to its existing site on the London Sustainable Industries Park at Dagenham to build a brand new factory extension, in order to realise its ambitious growth plans and meet demand for recycled food grade products. The expansion will support ambitious plans for partner brands, such as Britvic who are using the output of the factory for Drench water bottles.

Construction on the site is likely to commence in autumn 2011 and when finished will result in increased food-grade HDPE output, improved sorting facilities and better economies of scale.  It will also create an additional 50 low carbon jobs at the site.  There will be minimal impact on operations of the existing plant throughout the build phase.

Chris Dow, managing director of Closed Loop Recycling comments:

"There is massive demand amongst major brand owners for more sustainable packaging solutions and this expansion further enhances the UK’s fast growing sustainable industry.  In addition to our wide range of customers such as Marks & Spencer, Britvic, Nampak and Solo Cup Europe we have fantastic support from our waste partners such as Veolia and Shanks.

"It is the increased demand for rPET and rHDPE from these big brand owners and packaging companies, as well as better collection rates and increased recycling by consumers that is continuing to drive the market for food grade plastic. Hence the need for us to expand our operations, to help the industry meet those demands. In addition, the expanded facility will take the equivalent of over 23,000 cars off the road in carbon savings”.

Business Minister Mark Prisk MP said: "If we are going to succeed in rebalancing our economy it is vital that we take advantage of emerging business opportunities, such as low carbon products and services.

"I welcome the news that Closed Loop Recycling will double the size of its plant and create 50 advanced manufacturing jobs in East London. This is a good example of how we can create sustainable economic growth through the green economy.” 

Dr. Helene Roberts, head of packaging at Marks & Spencer, said: "As part of Plan A, our environmental and ethical programme, we’re committed to increasing the amount of packaging made from sustainable raw materials and ensuring that it can be easily recycled. Through our partnership with Closed Loop Recycling, over 80% of the plastic we use in our drinks bottles and salad bowls is made with recycled plastic. The new extension is great for consumers as it means even more of the plastics they recycle can go back into new packaging."

Mark Bradbury, deputy director of development for the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation added: "As the first occupier of the London Sustainable Industries Park Closed Loop Recycling has always been an important part of the project and a great supporter of our vision. We are therefore delighted that just two years after their opening we’ve now agreed terms for Phase 2 of the development.”

Closed Loop Recycling’s Dagenham plant has been operating since December 2008.  Its current capacity allows the production of 35,000 tonnes of mixed plastic bottles, producing 11,000 tonnes of rPET and 6,000 tonnes of rHDPE per annum.  The company is also continuing with its plans to open a second food-grade facility on Deeside, North Wales.  Once completed, this 90,000 square feet facility will process up to 50,000 tonnes of recycled plastic bottles per annum. Further plants are also planned.

Ends

For further information about Closed Loop Recycling, please contact:
Louise Barnett: 01892 769952 / 07713 742685 / louise@intelligentprofile.com
Emma Cantrill: 01892 769958 / 07788 757377 / emma@intelligentprofile.com

Closed Loop Recycling’s facility in Dagenham is the World’s first food grade mixed plastic bottle recycling plant.  State-of-the-art sorting and reprocessing technology enables it to sort, granulate, wash and super-clean 35,000 tonnes of recovered plastic bottles, including milk and soft drink bottles which are typically from local authority collections, and turn them back into recycled raw material for new food and drink packaging. The plant diverts a significant amount of waste from both landfill and export and saves up to 52,500 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

Facts & Figures
• Recycling 1 tonne of rigid plastic packaging saves up to 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide (WRAP)
• Closed Loop’s Dagenham plant is equivalent to removing 13,800 cars from the road
• Using 50% recycled content in an item of packaging reduces its carbon footprint by 25% (WRAP)
• 578,000 tonnes of bottles entered the household waste stream in 2009 (Recoup 2010)
• 260,000 tonnes collected in total (45% vs. 39% in 2008); in 2008 it included c. 86,500 tonnes each of clear PET and natural HDPE (Recoup 2010)
• Strong increase in kerbside collection to over 215,000 tonnes (Recoup 2010)
• 20% increase in bottles collected from 2008 to 2009 (Recoup 2010)
• Proposed Defra target for UK bottle collection by 2020 is 75% (est. 545,000 tonnes)
• There is a strong and growing demand for food-grade recycled plastic
o Coca Cola commitment to 25% rPET content
o UK Milk Roadmap targets 50% recycled content in all milk bottles by 2020 (est. 80,000 tonnes)
• There is also an increased focus on domestic recycling coupled with tighter export controls for the Far East
• Recycling is continuing to drive the growth in PET supply