Prisoners are to sort low-grade PVC in a scheme jointly run by a Manchester-based plastic recycling firm and HM Prison Service.
Low-risk offenders will segregate and process the worst-contaminated plastic in readiness for further refining by PVC Recycling.
Ian Murray, the firm's managing director, said: “Hand-sorting is part of the initial recycling process for this material, because technology is not available to deliver the quality the manufacturer requires – which is why we have chosen this challenging, but ultimately practical route.”
The scheme was launched in February with a pilot project involving 30 men working up to 37 hours per week at Buckley Hall Prison, Rochdale. And prison governor Susan Kennedy said the project, part of the Working Prisons Initiative, is working well, providing an opportunity for prisoners to develop a work ethos within a realistic working environment.
“This not only adds to their resettlement opportunities but they enjoy the work, which helps time to pass quickly. It's a very positive partnership. The prison service is keen to work with commercial partners on projects such as enterprises involved in recycling, and develop initiatives that contribute to the wider green agenda,” she said.