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Veolia acquires plastics-recycling assets in London

By Mary Page Bailey |

Veolia (Paris; has demonstrated its strategic commitment to the plastics economy by acquiring manufacturing assets in East London that will unlock the complete supply chain for manufacturing plastic bottles from recycled material.

Veolia will now be able to offer the complete range of services from collection of raw feedstock (waste plastic bottles) direct from people’s homes or businesses, through all the recycling steps, and back to food grade pellets ready to be blown into new plastic milk bottles.

The move will boost the U.K.’s domestic recycling capability, create 30 permanent jobs and enable Veolia to make and sell a high-value product from the 200 million plastic milk bottles it collects annually.

Currently around 13 billion soft drinks, water and milk bottles are discarded each year and globally the environmental costs are on the increase. By recycling bottles to produce new food-grade quality plastic, Veolia will make plastic more sustainable and maintain lower costs for local councils.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President Veolia UK and Ireland said, “We are very interested to collaborate in this space since co-operation with the manufacturing sector, the people actually making things from recovered materials, is essential in order to be successful for the long term.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I am determined to redouble efforts to increase the amount London recycles so I am delighted that Veolia has purchased this important facility. This plant recycles all of the capital’s empty milk bottles – a mountain of waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfill. This is good news for London and good news for the environment.”

“This is a great opportunity to work in tandem with our Rainham plastic recycling facility to turn the high density polyethylene (HDPE) milk bottles back into bottles and we are excited at mastering  the full supply chain by moving into this type of manufacturing.  This shows once again Veolia’s commitment to investment in the UK.”

The new business will produce around 10,000 metric tons (m.t.) of high-quality food grade HDPE pellets annually. Recycling this material requires 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle than using ‘virgin’ materials.

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