EcoPlants to tackle plastic waste crisis

Ten new ecoPlants are planned across the UK, thanks to a joint venture which could see over £400m invested in the building of these advanced recycling facilities.

The partnership, between Clean Planet Energy and private equity firm Crossroads Real Estate, has already agreed funding for the flagship ecoPlant currently under construction in Teesside.

Potential sites have also been identified in Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, Lancashire and South Wales, with further locations to be announced in the coming months.

Clean Planet Energy’s ecoPlant is a green, advanced recycling facility intended to process non-recyclable and hard-to-recycle waste plastics that would otherwise be sent to landfill. It is designed to accept 20,000 tonnes of plastics each year, converting the waste into ultra-low sulphur fuels to replace fossil fuels in the transport and heavy-machinery sectors, and petrochemical feedstocks, including naphtha, which can be used to make new plastic products without the need to use fossil-based feedstocks.

The company’s ultra-low-sulphur diesel can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75% compared to the use of traditional diesel, while the joint venture could also lead to over 200,000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle waste plastics being repurposed for use in the circular supply chain each year.

The UK still generates over 2m tonnes of plastic waste each year, with well over 60% not suitable for recycling, and a recent government report identified advanced recycling as a key policy recommendation.

By developing new ecoPlants throughout the UK, Clean Planet Energy and Crossroads Real Estate plan to open a route for traditionally non-recyclable plastic waste to be repurposed into sustainable and circular-economy product. The aim is to cut plastic pollution, reduce the amount of waste entering UK landfill, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Crossroads CEO David Gillerman explains, “The negative impact of plastic waste on our environment, plus the challenges we face from excess carbon emissions, made the joint venture with Clean Planet Energy a very compelling opportunity. With this investment, we have the ability to make a significant environmental and social impact across the UK.”

Bertie Stephens, Group CEO of Clean Planet Energy, adds, “Clean Planet Energy’s mission is to remove over 1m tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste from our environment, every year. This exciting partnership gives us the capacity to make a significant dent in this target.”

Earlier this year, Clean Planet Energy announced a 10-year agreement with global energy company bp plc to offtake its circular products from its ecoPlants into the market. Each new facility will be able to process hard-to-recycle plastics in the UK. At their peak, the facilities should create over 750 direct new jobs, and potentially thousands of indirect jobs when the ecoPlants move from development into the construction and operation phases.

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