BPI makes £multi-million investment into new recycling capabilities

British Polythene Industries (BPI) plc has made a £4.5 million investment at its Rhymney, South Wales site. The business has commissioned a brand new, state-of-the-art wash plant which will further strengthen its position as Europe’s largest polythene waste recycler.

The new wash plant - which was officially unveiled on the 9th March 2012 at a ceremony attended by Welsh Government Ministers and representatives from organisations including DEFRA, the Environment Agency and WRAP - is the largest of its kind in the UK and possibly in Europe. It will allow BPI to recycle an additional 25,000 tonnes of waste material each year, increasing its overall capacity from 70,000 tonnes to 95,000 tonnes per annum.

In addition to being one of the largest of its kind in Europe, the new wash plant is also one of the greenest. It employs features such as low energy, high output motors, energy saving lighting and rainwater harvesting to replace the water it loses each day. To deliver these impressive environmental credentials as well as superior levels of performance, BPI had the plant built to a totally bespoke specification.

The upgraded Rhymney plant will further enhance BPI’s network of strategically located recycling facilities across the UK. In particular, it will focus on waste from the agricultural and horticultural sector, complementing BPI’s other dedicated agricultural waste recycling facility in Dumfries – previously the country’s largest, most advanced and only waste farm polythene recycling facility until the Rhymney investment.

Waste farm plastic continues to be a major problem for British farmers and growers. Up to 80,000 tonnes of this material is generated annually and there isn’t currently the capacity in the UK to recycle it. Much of it is so heavily contaminated with soil, sand and other contaminants, (with non-plastic contamination levels of up to 80%) that other recyclers in Britain either don’t have the technology to recycle it or prefer not to in favour of cleaner forms of scrap.

As a result, much of it is exported to countries like Vietnam and Malaysia where it is often recycled using primitive, manual techniques that cause damage to the local environment. An unacceptably high volume of waste farm polythene in the UK is also still being sent to landfill or worse still, illegally burnt.

In addition, the new wash plant will help BPI to increase the number of closed loop initiatives it offers. Under these schemes, BPI can recover material such as retailers’ back of store polythene waste – for instance shrinkfilm, pallet stretchwrap and garment covers - before supplying the same retailer with recycled products like refuse sacks made from their own waste.

The business is also working with major construction companies with a view to helping them to dispose of their polythene waste, such as aggregate, cement and other sacks, before recycling it and supply that waste back as new products like 100% recycled damp proof membranes.

Commenting on the Rhymney wash plant investment, Gerry McGarry, Business Director for BPI Recycled Products, said: “BPI has a strong commitment to the highest levels of sustainability and has focused on employing greener products and greener working practices for over 25 years.

“This commitment has resulted in us winning numerous awards including the 2011 Sustainability Award at the Scotland plc Awards and Best Green Large Company category at the 2010 Scottish Green Awards.

“It's also the reason why we have invested into the new wash plant at Rhymney. This plant will help to increase our already extensive recycling capabilities, bringing major benefits not only to our business, but also to UK recycling and to the environment as a whole.”

- ENDS -

Images & Caption:    bpi Rhymney wash plant 1.jpg; Awash with advantages. To further strengthen its position as Europe’s largest polythene waste recycler, BPI has invested £4.5million into a new waste wash plant at its Rhymney, South Wales site.                                    

bpi Rhymney unveiling.jpg; L-R: Cameron McLatchie, Chairman, BPI and Huw Lewis, AM Merthyr Tydfill & Rhymney, Minister for Housing, Regeneration & Heritage. 

For more information on this story, contact Wayne Mohammed or Emma Macey at PRECISION on 0161 638 8717 / 8718 or e-mail: wayne@precision-online.co.uk/ emma@precision-online.co.uk

Editors’ notes:

  • British Polythene Industries (BPI) is a leading European supplier of polythene film products.
  • BPI is the largest recycler of polythene film waste in Europe recycling over 70,000 tonnes of post-use polythene material from commercial, retail, industrial and agricultural markets.
  • BPI is a global supplier of high performing agricultural and horticultural films to over 60 counties worldwide from manufacturing sites in the UK, Belgium and Canada.
  • The BPI Group is a major supplier of packaging for the protection of food and other goods.
  • BPI's products, which are marketed under well-known and established brand names including Visqueen™ (construction films), Silotite® (silage stretch film), Green Sack® (100% recycled refuse sacks) and Supreme™ (stretchwrap) provide high performing, cost-effective polythene solutions across a range of industries.

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