The bottle manufacturer said that access to this quantity of rHDPE will result in it being able to produce milk bottles that have 30 per cent recycled content in 2010.
The AWS facility at Hemswell, Lincolnshire is the largest plastic bottles sorting plant in the UK and has the capacity to reprocess 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste a year, following on from a £14m upgrade to its plant in July.
AWS managing director, Jonathan Short, told FoodProductionDaily.com that the company plans to process up to 30 to 35 per cent of that plastic waste into food grade plastic in 2009, with the first food grade pellets ready by January.
“However, by 2010, food grade plastic will represent 70 per cent of our recovered plastic output,” said Short.
The recycled plastic has to be cleaned of residues before it can be used in contact with food and drink.
AWS has also announced its intention to open further plants throughout the UK and in Europe.
James Crick, Business Development Director at Nampak Plastics Europe, said the partnership is significant for the company and for the future of HDPE milk bottles:
“By providing the necessary rHDPE tonnages for the production of up to 30 per cent recycled content bottles, the contract with AWS will enable Nampak to meet Defra’s Milk Roadmap medium range target for recycled content in milk packaging significantly ahead of time."
Nampak also has contracts with Closed Loop London and Greenstar for the supply of 6,000 tonnes from each facility of food grade rHDPE on an annual basis, thus enabling the manufacturer reach its target of up to 10 per cent recycled content milk bottles during 2009.