Food packaging to use recycled cosmetic bottles

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Recycling

Used cosmetics bottles will be turned into packaging for the food,
and potentially the cosmetics industry at a proposed €17.6m
recycling plant in the UK.

The investment should ease the pressure packagers are facing to reduce the waste that is sent to landfill sites and abroad for recycling. The plant will be built using £12m (€17.6m) in funding through a joint private and public sector funding agreement. The plant, run by Closed Loop London (CLL), will transform the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in the UK, turning millions of water, soft drinks and cosmetics bottles back into new food packaging each year. Chris Dow, CLL's managing director in London, said the development of the plant was the realisation of a three-year vision to close the loop on plastics recycling in the UK. "We are delighted to be able to bring to the food packaging manufacturers a commercially viable and environmentally responsible option when specifying packaging," he said. "The UK will have a world class facility for processing its plastic waste and need not export this material for reprocessing into low grade applications." The company expects about 35,000 tonnes of cosmetic and food packaging will be recycled each year when the plant opens in December in 2007. The plant will use technology developed by South Carolina-based United Resource Recovery Corporation to sort, granulate and super clean the recycled plastic bottles to produce a packaging approved for food contact in the US and Europe. CLL announced that Marks & Spencer is the first major retailer to commit to sending plastic waste from its London stores to the Closed Loop London plant for recycling. It said that M&S will also encourage its suppliers to source recycled PET from the plant to make M&S packaging. The project has received funding from Foresight Venture Partners and a banking facility from Allied Irish Bank (GB), and is also supported by public sector funding from the London Development Agency (LDA) and the Waste & Resources Acton Programme (WRAP). London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, said the announcement was a big leap forward for recycling and boosted the fight against climate change. "We need real investment in recycling facilities rather than dumping our rubbish in landfill sites or sending it to incinerators to be burnt," he said. Jennie Price, WRAP's chief executive, said the project met the duel aims of reduce waste and meet increasing demand for recycled PET by UK businesses. Visy Closed Loop manufactures environmental packaging and recycling solutions. It has offices in Australia and the UK.

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