UK’s recycling and waste management provider Biffa has secured planning approval from Durham County Council for plastics recycling plant near Seaham, which will be developed with an investment of £15m.
Biffa will turn the 130,000ft² vacant warehouse at Foxcover Distribution Park into a polymer processing plant, which can recycle over one billion plastics drinks bottles per year.
The facility, which will be operated round the clock, will process three million bottles per day into new food and drink packaging.
Biffa’s new facility is expected to create around 70 new full-time jobs in the region.
Biffa is planning to begin construction on new facility in summer this year, while the first commissioning trials are planned in December.
Biffa’s latest investment at the Seaham site will help the company to double its recycling capacity for plastic bottles.
At present, the firm’s Redcar plant holds capacity to process about 18,000 tons of recycled high density polyethylene (rHDPE) per year, which will be used to produce milk bottles and food trays.
Biffa resource, recovery and treatment managing director Mick Davis said: “The UK currently uses around a 13.5 billion plastic bottles a year but can only process half of this, with the rest diverted to landfill or overseas.
“This new site represents an exciting opportunity to boost our recycling capacity here at home and supports the country’s long-term plan to find new ways to reuse plastics, as detailed in DEFRA’s recent Resource & Waste Strategy.”
“Our proposals for the Seaham plant were the result of months of careful consideration and we are keen to build on our already excellent reputation for recycling in the north east.”
Biffa is a major integrated waste management business in the UK, which operates across the breadth of the waste management value chain, including the collection, treatment, processing and disposal of waste and recyclable materials.
The company also carries out related work in the production and sale of energy derived from waste and the sale of recovered commodities such as paper, glass, metals and plastic.
Biffa provides its services to the customers, including local authorities, large corporates and SMEs and purchasers of end-product commodities and energy.