Closed Loop urges Government to 'be courageous' in waste review

Closed Loop Recycling, the first facility 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, is urging the government to be courageous in its support of the UK recycling industry when it publishes the findings of its long-awaited Waste Review this week (Tuesday 14 June, 2011).

The company, which has been an innovator and leader in the development of the UK plastic recycling industry - which barely existed five years ago - is hoping to see the government demonstrate its full commitment and support for the UK recycling industry by:

- ensuring more availability of input materials throughout the UK
- continuing to set ambitious recycling rates supported by strong government incentive schemes, which in turn will drive up PRN value
- refining the PRN system in favour of domestic producers
- providing adequate funding for the Environment Agency to reinforce overseas shipment regulations, which will lead to an increase in the quality of input materials to the domestic market

Chris Dow, managing director of Closed Loop said:  "The government has an opportunity to drive home the advantage that we’ve created over the last few years and really back the UK recycling industry.  What we need to achieve is a thriving British industry that creates green jobs, boosts the UK economy and helps meet carbon reduction targets.  I will be listening to Caroline Spelman’s announcement with great anticipation.”

Paul Levett, special advisor to Closed Loop Recycling added: "One area I expect we’ll hear more about is producer responsibility for brand owners and retailers.  We would welcome this approach and its role in tackling on-the-go recycling which currently lags behind household collections.”

Closed Loop Recycling was the first company in the UK to close the loop on plastic recycling and take bottles out of waste bins and turn them back into bottles on the shelf, showing consumers that recycling is worth the effort.  In addition the company has demonstrated the environmental benefits of plastic bottle recycling for the whole supply chain, from local authorities, to brand owners and retailers.  Waste recycling companies recognise the benefits of having a UK-based reprocessor which avoids the need for the administration burden involved in exporting their materials. 

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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

About Closed Loop Recycling
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.  The company recently announced extensive expansion plans which will double the current input capacity of its Dagenham plant to at least 60,000 tonnes, whilst accommodating a wider range of different polymers.


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 Companies such as Britvic and Solo Cup have made ongoing commitments to using rPET content in their packaging
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