Plasgran posts record growth and expands into “post-consumer” processing

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UK plastics recycling specialists Plasgran has posted a record 30% year-on-year increase in revenue, with sales increasing to £22m (€25m) in the financial year 2016-17.

Announcing the growth, the Cambridgeshire-based company also unveiled further growth plans, and an investment in a new washing and separation facility in Newcastle in order to increase its separation and cleaning capabilities.

The new washing facility, which has a total capacity of over 30,000 tonnes per year is focussed on washing and separation of post-consumer HDPE bottles, and PP pots, tubs and trays.

According to Plasgran, the unit has been up and running since the summer, and is set to be expanded to include specialist film cleaning capability.

The investment, a joint venture with newly incorporated Monarch recycling, brings together more than 15 years of experience and 6 years of R&D into washing and separation processes to complement the extensive rigids recycling, separation and compounding knowledge at Plasgran.

Commenting on the partnership, Paul Bennet, managing director at Monarch said his company saw Plasgran as “the future for the UK recycling industry”.

“Their extensive knowledge of the recycling market combined with our expertise in dealing with these complex materials is a perfect match and will position both businesses ideally going forward,” he added.

According to Plasgran managing director Mark Roberts, the project is part of the company’s strategy to become “the UK’s leading plastics recycler”.

“We see post-consumer materials as a key part of our portfolio of feedstocks moving forward,” noted Roberts who said the move was “strategically important” in light of the recent developments in the export market and waste import ban by China.

“Having this dedicated facility puts us in control of this material stream and means we can access the material directly from the waste management sector,” Roberts added

“Furthermore, the location of the facility means we are in an advantageous position to secure other raw materials from the north east of the country so we can provide even better service to our customers on the purchasing side of the business as well as increasing our market penetration in compound and regrind sales.”

In addition to the project, the company has also purchased a new twin-screw extrusion line at its facility in Wimblington, Cambridgeshire, to add a further 10,000 tonnes to its annual compounding capacity.

Despite the commissioning of their Intarema line in 2016, the business has been at the limit of its compounding capacity for some time, according to Plasgran.

To add capacity and capability, the company has bought the new MAS 93K - 400 with CDF melt filtration – a twin-screw extruder with laser filter technology, specifically designed for compounding of recycled materials.

“The investment will allow the company to expand its range of compounded materials to include automotive standard filled PP grades and HDPE extrusion and blow-moulding materials which have not formed a significant part of their compound offering to date,” Plasgran added.

The new line is designed for compounding and dispersion and will allow the production of filled PP materials up to 40% loaded.

Plasgran has taken a number of steps in recent months to increase the quality, technical performance and range of their compounded products, with the opening of a new technical centre a year ago.

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