Eurokey announces UK’s first supermarket sorting line

Eurokey Recycling Ltd, part of The Reconomy Group, has announced plans to invest £15 million in the UK’s first ‘supermarket sorting line’ – an innovation developed specifically to recover and recycle films and flexible plastics arising from the grocery and retail sector.

This new 75,000-square-foot recycling infrastructure, capable of processing over 70,000 tonnes a year of supermarket films and flexible plastics returned by customers, will be located on a three-and-a-half-acre plot in Kettering, Northamptonshire, and is expected to be operational next summer. EA permits are in the process of being confirmed and it is anticipated that the investment will create between 40-50 jobs in the area.

Materials being recycled will be back-of-store film and rigid plastics, which will also include multi-polymer sort and packaging from the bakery, confectionery products, bags from prepared salad, and food trays. As a result, customers – who include supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s – will ultimately be able to reprocess all their flexible and film plastics in the UK.

John Dhillon, Managing Director at Eurokey, said:

“This ground-breaking UK solution has been in development for the past 3 years and has been expedited now that we are part of the Reconomy Group. It will undoubtedly have a hugely influential role in enabling the UK to better manage its plastic waste, realising both its commercial and environmental value and reducing our reliance on export. We see this as only the start though and have a number of other exciting projects in the pipeline to further bolster UK recycling infrastructure.”

Reconomy’s CEO, Paul Cox, also commented saying:

“This investment forms a vital part of the Reconomy Group’s exciting growth strategy and demonstrates our commitment to being a leading enabler in the development of the circular economy. Building infrastructure to recover more of these under-recycled resources is another example of us working to meet the challenges faced by our customers. In doing so, we are helping them to build more commercially and environmentally sustainable businesses for the future.”

The high degree of automation comprising the latest recycling technologies will bring a unique focus on the processing of polymers including PET, HDPE, LDPE. As a result, the quality of materials recovered will far exceed those achieved by any municipal or general commercial waste recycling facility.  Levels of wastage will also be significantly reduced.

Eurokey also recently invested over £5m in a new facility in Goleniow, Poland which enables the company to continue to service the material reprocessing requirements of its European client base.