Morrisons buys stake in soft plastics recycling facility
Supermarket chain Morrisons has acquired a “significant stake” in a soft plastics recycling plant in Fife, Scotland, owned by Yes Recycling.
The move means the retailer will become the first supermarket in the UK to own its own recycling operations.
Morrisons said the plant in Fife has an “initial capacity” of 15,000 tonnes and will process hard-to-recycle soft plastic – including chocolate wrappers, crisp packets, and food film.
In September, Yes Recycling said the plant is set to “open fully” by the end of 2021.
The retailer said it is now “looking at ways to use the recycled material from the site for a range of applications, including store fixtures and fittings”. In addition, new “Ecosheets”, are being manufactured at the site for use in the agriculture and construction industry.
Ecosheet is an “environmentally friendly alternative to plywood”, which can be used in construction and agriculture industries.
Jamie Winter, procurement director at Morrisons, said: “Lots of work has been done by retailers to reduce plastic, but little to recycle what remains. We’re taking on that challenge and making a significant investment in a state-of-the-art soft plastic recycling site. It’ll take problematic plastics, recycle them here in the UK, and give them a new life”.
The move comes as Morrisons has pledged to recycle and reuse the equivalent amount of plastic it puts on to the market within its own recycling facilities by 2025.
It has already announced it will reduce its own brand plastic packaging by 50% by the same year. Since 2017 Morrisons has reduced its own brand plastic packaging by over 8,000 tonnes a year and replaced another 7,000 tonnes so that it is fully recyclable.
Material collected in-store by Morrisons will be sent to its distribution centre in Bellshill before being sent to the plant.
Morrisons didn’t disclose the exact stake it had bought.
According to Morrisons, the Fife site is the first of its type in the world. It is co-owned and being constructed by recycling plant specialists Yes Recycling. The plant will turn hard-to-recycle flexible food packaging into plastic flakes, pellets and boards. At current capacity, the site will take 15,000 of tonnes of flexible plastic packaging a year.
Omer Kutluoglu, Co-Owner of Yes Recycling, said: “This is a ground-breaking site which uses new patented plastic recycling technology, which we’ve developed over the last seven years. It is a blueprint for the future and will help to kick-start the UK’s plastics recycling industry. It will mean we can keep plastic in our own country’s ‘circular economy’ and out of our seas and oceans.
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