THE GREEN LIGHT has been given to a new £15 million expansion of a plastics firm in Hemswell, near Gainsborough.
ECO Plastics, Europe’s largest and leading plastic bottle recycler, re-opened in November last year after it was famously ravaged by fire in August 2009.
The firm then went on to enter a partnersip with Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) in March to develop a new £15 million purpose-built recycling facility at the Hemswell site- creating 45 new jobs.
But now, ECO Plastics has announced that it has received planning permission from Lincolnshire County Council for the development.
The expanded facility will supply food-grade recycled PET to Coca-Cola Enterprises.
ECO Plastics Chairman Peter Gangsted said he was thrilled by the news.
“This announcement is the next phase in ECO Plastics’ development,” he said.
“Over the last year we have successfully transformed our plant into the largest and most sophisticated in Europe, renamed the business and signed a major deal with the world’s biggest beverage brand.”
He added: “We will not take our foot off the pedal and expect to start construction over the summer in order to have the site operational in time for the 2012 Olympics.”
Commercial Recycling Manager for Coca-Cola Nick Brown continued: “This project represents a major milestone for addressing the recycling challenges in this country.”
“Coca-Cola Enterprises has committed to incorporating 25 per cent of rPET pellet into all our plastic bottles in Britain by 2012, and our investment with ECO Plastics is key for making this a reality.”
This agreement is the first of its kind in Britain and will see ECO Plastics continue to source, sort and clean used plastics, which will then be made into rPET flakes.
Having been extruded into food-grade rPET pellet in the new facility, these will then be utilised to produce preforms which will be blown into Coca Cola’s world famous bottles.
The expansion will increase the plants’ capacity from 100,000 tonnes to 140,000 tonnes of plastic per year - just under 50 per cent of the total plastic bottles collected within the UK last year.
In addition to having signed a ten year off-take contract, CCE will also provide £5 million towards the creation of the new facility.
ECO Plastics say they will raise the remaining £10 million needed to carry out the development.