The plant has now been recognised by the recycling industry’s flagship Awards for Excellence as the ‘Best Use of Design and Technology in a Waste Management Facility’.
The recycling process starts at Biffa’s neighbouring Seaham plant in County Durham, where PET contaminated by aluminium or PVC is removed to ensure only the highest quality material goes on to be recycled into food-grade products.
During this sorting and flaking process, some of the good quality plastic is invariably caught up with the contaminated material, meaning that historically it could not be recycled.
The contaminated material is now taken to the Group’s new PET Recovery Plant in Washington, where Biffa’s state of the art technology enables magnetic currents to remove the residual metal, while optical sorters remove any remaining traces of PVC, leaving only the recyclable PET flakes behind.
This material is then able to re-enter the recycled polymer supply chain, delivering significant financial and sustainability benefits.
Phil Goodier, Biffa Polymers Managing Director, said: “This award is testament to Biffa’s vision, and commitment to delivering innovative solutions to help tackle the UK’s waste challenge.