Plastic Energy is a chemical recycling company that has developed technology to transform traditionally non-recyclable plastic waste into a hydrocarbon product called Tacoil, which can be used to make recycled, virgin-quality plastics.
Viridor is a UK resource, recycling and waste management company that is committed to the circular economy.
The two have now joined hands on a project designed to turn previously unrecyclable waste plastics into a valuable resource for creating circular products. The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and commenced a feasibility analysis to study the development of a new Plastics Energy facility with a capacity of up to 30,000 tonnes.
The project, said the companies, would prioritise resource and energy efficiency.
“We are very proud to be working with Plastic Energy to develop a project which further demonstrates how all waste can be considered a resource and not rubbish and that collaboration is the key to achieving our green economy goals,” said Viridor managing director Phillip Piddington.
If all goes according to plan, it is expected to be finalised by the end of 2023.
The companies envisage a collaboration in which Viridor would provide predominantly low-density plastic film - a stream traditionally not recycled due to contamination - to a new Plastic Energy chemical recycling plant, which is to be co-located with a Viridor energy recovery facility.
Plastic Energy already operates two commercial plants in Spain and, said CEO and founder Carlos Monreal, is ‘delighted to support the development of an integrated site with Viridor in the UK and provide a solution for plastics previously not recycled’.
Situating the new plant at a Viridor location would allow the chemical recycling facility, would be owned, developed and operated by Plastic Energy, to draw low-carbon electricity generated from the process Viridor uses.
The Tacoil produced from the plastic waste would be used as a feedstock to create virgin-quality recycled plastic material in collaboration with the chemical industry.
“Chemical recycling will support the government’s goal to move towards a circular economy and to increase recycling rates for plastics, effectively making plastic waste a valuable resource,” concluded Monreal.