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Biffa gets the green light for new plastics recycling plant in Durham

16 • February • 2019

Biffa gets the green light for new plastics recycling plant in Durham

The UK’s leading national recycling and waste management provider, Biffa, received planning approval from Durham County Council last night (Tuesday 5th February) for a £15m plastics recycling plant near Seaham.

16 February 2019

New facility to create 70 full time jobs and process 3 million plastic bottles every day

The UK’s leading national recycling and waste management provider, Biffa, received planning approval from Durham County Council last night (Tuesday 5th February) for a £15m plastics recycling plant near Seaham.

Biffa will make use of a 130,000 sq ft vacant warehouse at Foxcover Distribution Park to create a polymer processing plant capable of recycling more than one billion plastics drinks bottles a year. The facility will be in operation 24/7, processing 3 million bottles a day into new food and drink packaging and creating around 70 new full-time jobs.

Now planning approval has been granted by Durham County Council, construction is expected to begin on site in Summer 2019, with the first commissioning trials scheduled for December.

The Seaham site is Biffa’s latest investment in the UK’s recycling infrastructure and will double the company’s recycling capacity for plastic bottles. Currently, its flagship Redcar plant processes around 18,000 tonnes of recycled High Density Polyethylene (rHDPE) a year to create milk bottles and food trays. It was the first facility of its kind to do so.

Mick Davis, managing director of resource, recovery and treatment at Biffa, said: “The UK currently uses around a 13.5 billion plastic bottles a year but can only process half of this, with the rest diverted to landfill or overseas. This new site represents an exciting opportunity to boost our recycling capacity here at home and supports the country’s long-term plan to find new ways to reuse plastics, as detailed in DEFRA’s recent Resource & Waste Strategy.

“Our proposals for the Seaham plant were the result of months of careful consideration and we are keen to build on our already excellent reputation for recycling in the north east. We are delighted Durham County Council recognised the importance of this site to the region, as well as the wider waste industry, and we now look forward to seeing these plans come to life.”

To find out more about Biffa, please see here:



Notes to Editors:

Biffa is a leading UK-based integrated waste management business. The Group operates across the breadth of the waste management value chain, including the collection, treatment, processing and disposal of waste and recyclable materials, as well as related work in the production and sale of energy derived from waste and the sale of recovered commodities such as paper, glass, metals and plastic. Biffa’s customer base for these services includes local authorities (which includes the collection of waste from households), large corporates and SMEs, and purchasers of end-product commodities and energy. Across its operations, the Group managed approximately 3.3mT of waste in Fiscal Year 2017. The Group’s services are organised across four operating divisions: Industrial & Commercial; Municipal; Resource Recovery & Treatment (RR&T); and Energy. In Fiscal Year 2017, the Group’s total revenue was £990.4 million and its Underlying EBITDA was £137.7 million. Biffa was successfully admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities in October 2016 under the ticker “BIFF”.

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