《衛報》的一片文章說，由於油價上漲，促使塑料產品的回收擴大。 文章說，隨著威爾士一家新工廠得到批准上馬，英國將可能把它的塑料回收能力提高百分之50。 文章說定於明年10月開工的這家工廠可以回收大約5萬噸的塑料瓶和奶瓶等製品，並把它們製造成可以用來包裝食品的塑料包裝。 該報道說，目前在英國回收塑料產業正在擴大，尤其是最近的油價高企，更促進了塑料產品的回收量。
Waste: Oil price fuels expansion of plastic recycling
· UK capacity to rise by half as Welsh plant is approved
· Firm says buyers already lined up for 60% of output
- The Guardian,
- Monday September 15 2008
Britain's plastic bottle recycling capacity will rise by 50% as a new £12m plant gets the go-ahead. Closed Loop Recycling, which claims its Dagenham recycling facility is the first in the world to take both milk bottles and clear drink bottles and turn them back into plastic suitable to package food, has won approval for a second and bigger site in Wales.
The Deeside plant, in Flintshire, which is set to open in October next year, will recycle 50,000 tonnes of water, milk and other soft drink bottles that might otherwise have gone to landfill or been exported, turning them back into plastic suitable to make new bottles.
The project is funded with cash from the private equity firm Foresight Group, a bank loan from Allied Irish Bank and about £1m in public-sector funding from the Welsh Assembly. The company is already working on plans for a third plant, which could be up and running by the end of 2010 and wants up to five facilities in the next five years.
Closed Loop has already got buyers for more than 60% of the plastic it will produce from the Welsh plant including major brands such as Coca-Cola, Britvic and the milk bottle manufacturers Nampak and Logoplaste.
All the 35,000 tonnes of plastic recyclate that will be produced annually by its first plant in Dagenham has already been sold to companies including Marks & Spencer and the packaging manufacturer Solo Cup. That plant, which officially opened in June, is already recycling plastic but does not expect to produce food-grade material for about a month.
Plastics recycling in the UK is booming. The number of bottles collected by local authorities has shot up nearly 70% in the past year giving processing businesses increased security of supply.
The industry has also been boosted by high oil prices, which have pushed up the value of plastic recyclate and virgin resin by about 10% in the past year. Virgin resin is now worth about £950 a tonne and recyclate only 5% less.
Much of the UK's waste plastic, however, is still shipped to plants in the far east for recycling, significantly enlarging the carbon footprint of the process.
Chris Dow, managing director of Closed Loop, said: "This is a sector that people want to invest in because it is growing. The consumer is asking the retailer, 'Are you using recycled material in that?' and the rising price of oil is a good thing for the recycling industry."
However, Dow said that despite rising demand, there were still a number of UK local authorities that did not collect plastic bottles, which is one of the easiest sources of plastic to recycle.
"Councils collecting at the kerbside are getting a big contribution that can reduce council taxes," Dow said. "Not collecting plastic is tantamount to neglect."
Marcus Gover, director of market development at the government-backed Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), welcomed Closed Loop's new facility in Wales. He said: "The more capacity we have to recycle plastics, the better because each tonne of plastic recycled can save as much as 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent."
He said that if all 13bn plastic bottles used every year in the UK were recycled it would save a total of about 785,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the same as taking 250,000 cars off the road.
Gover added that it was particularly good to be able to turn waste bottles back into new bottles. "As far as WRAP is concerned, this closed-loop recycling is the holy grail of plastic bottle recycling," he said.
The Welsh plant will be supplied by the waste recovery firm Veolia Environmental Services, which will source plastic bottles from dozens of local authorities in Wales and the north-west of England.