Major supermarkets collaborate to create closed-loop black plastic solution

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Representatives from Faerch Plast UK, M&S, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Viridor

Viridor has joined forces with major retailers Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s to create a solution which puts recycled black plastic back into food packaging.

Along with food manufacturer Faerch Plast, the companies worked together to prove that black plastic from household mixed recycling can be recycled into high quality mixed coloured ‘jazz’ flakes to create food grade packaging.

They predict 120 tonnes of black plastic, which equates to 8m items, will be recycled each month from July onwards.

The resulting material will then be used in new packaging for M&S, Sainsbury’s and Tesco products.

Environment secretary Michael Gove welcomed the innovation.

He said: “This global leading scheme has the potential to mean the UK exports less of its waste, could divert huge amounts of plastic away from landfill and prevent virgin plastic entering the market in the first place.”

Paul Ringham, Viridor commercial director, said the collaboration was evidence of the UK Plastics Pact in action.

He said: “The project has proved a commercial process which can be extended across the UK.

“The more plastic collected, the more is made available to be recycled and put back into the circular economy. In this way, we all contribute to reducing the amount of virgin plastic entering the economy.”

The project took place at Viridor’s plastic recycling facility in Rochester, Kent and its polymers reprocessing plant at Skelmersdale in Lancashire.

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