MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (Nov. 22, 11:20 a.m. ET) — Closed-loop recycling of post-consumer and retail waste plastic films could become a full-scale commercial reality within four years, according to Axion Consulting.
Refuse sacks, external hoardings, shelving and in-store displays are among various products that could be made from waste supermarket plastics and either sold or used within their store networks, said the Manchester-based resource recovery specialist.
Axion worked with three manufacturers – CeDo, Centriforce Products and Protomax Plastics – on a series of demonstration trials of post-consumer films sourced from a leading retailer's front and back of store collections.
Axion's research shows it is technically possible to manufacture commercially-useful products for the retail sector from mixed post-consumer film packaging.
According to Axion director Roger Morton, the “great potential” shown by the studies should give manufacturers confidence to invest in production capability, which in turn would stimulate local authorities to accept waste plastic films in their recycling collections. He predicts this could happen within four years.
“This is a tremendous step in the right direction to really grow film recycling capacity in the UK over the next few years,” Morton said. “Consumers want to see their plastic waste given a new second life as they're now far more conscious of what they're throwing away. Ultimately, consumer demand will drive this whole closed-loop recycling process.”