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plastic bags

Plastic Bag Reprocessing Plant Turns Waste into Useful Products

plastic bagsPlasRecycle has built the UK’s first facility for reprocessing post-consumer polythene bags and packaging films to produce a plastic granulate that can be used for making new bags.

The Woolwich, South East London plant has the capacity to recycle 1 metric ton of plastic packaging and will save around 1.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The plant can process 20,000 metric tons per year of used plastic films sourced from waste companies and retailers. The clean plastic granulate that’s produced at the plant can be used in the manufacture of new black sacks and carrier bags, the company says.

PlasRecycle worked for three years developing the high-tech proprietary process to convert what has historically been regarded as waste into a useful product.

PlasRecycle raised £10.7 million ($17 million) in financing from investors including Foresight Environmental Fund, the London Waste & Recycling Board, WRAP and private investors. The plant is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2013.

While the UK has concentrated on recycling efforts, other local, state and national governments have attempted to ban plastic bags. In June, the Italian government banned the sale of non-biodegradable plastic bags, despite the UK’s attempt to block the law, reported Plastics News.

Los Angeles became the largest US city to ban single-use plastic bags at supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores and retail chains that sell food such as Target and Walmart. The rule, which was signed into law in June, also sets a 10-cent price on paper bags to encourage customers to bring their own re-usable bags.

LA’s ordinance made it the 77th jurisdiction in California to phase out plastic grocery bags. Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste, says by 2014, one-third of the state’s residents — 13 million people — will live in a jurisdiction that has banned single-use plastic food bags.

Photo Credit: PlasRecycle

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