Call for £7.5 bn investment to erase plastic waste and refuel economy
23 Mar 2020
Britain must invest billions to tackle the nearly five million tonnes of plastic waste it generates every year, claims waste business Peel Environmental.
With pressure growing to stop the export of waste abroad or accommodating it in landfill, the firm is calling for the creation of so-called ‘plastic parks’ that aim to recycle a far higher proportion of waste than ever before.
MD Myles Kitcher said the aim should not be to simply dispose of plastic but to extract a significant environmental gain by promoting sustainability. But he warned the investment needed would top £7.5 billion.
“It’s right that we should be having the debate about plastic, but we’re not going to rid it from society overnight. In many cases plastic will continue to be the most sustainable and cost effective option, for example its many uses in the medical industry,” he stated.
“Rather than demonising all plastics, we need to reduce and re-use what we can, recycle after that and then find better solutions for what’s left."
Peel Environmental’s Protos site in Cheshire is being earmarked as the first such park. The company says it will take plastic at the end of its life, maximising what can be removed for recycling.
The remaining non-recyclable plastic will be used to create electricity, hydrogen or other products. Acting in partnership with Waste2Tricity, Peel Environmental is pioneering waste plastic to hydrogen technology that it claims will revolutionise the waste market while kick-starting the emerging hydrogen economy in the UK.
It recently signed an exclusivity agreement to deploy the PowerHouse Energy Group technology in the UK.
Technologies employed at the plastic parks will break plastic back into its component parts to reduce reliance on virgin fossil fuels. With a network of Plastic Parks envisaged across the UK, each one can be tailored to local needs, providing local councils with the comfort that their plastic waste is being handled responsibly.
Said Kitcher: “The technologies we’re looking at will provide solutions for plastics that up until now haven’t had a value. But we fully expect them to be transitional technologies which in the short term make a positive difference until we can reduce our plastic consumption.”