Viridor opens £317m Avonmouth plastics recycling and energy recovery plant

The facility near Bristol has the capacity to process 1.6 billion items of plastic and divert around 320,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from landfill every year

Big Zero Report 2022

A new £317 million plastics recycling and waste management facility has officially been opened in Avonmouth by Resources and Waste Minister Jo Churchill.

Viridor’s Avonmouth Resource Recovery facility near Bristol has the capacity to process 1.6 billion items of plastic and divert around 320,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from landfill every year.

More than 300GWh of electricity will be generated annually, enough to power around 84,000 homes and save 126,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

The new plant enables the company to fully recycle more than 90% of the plastics that it had previously exported, cutting plastic waste exports in the UK by around 8%.

Viridor’s latest analysis found around 1.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions could be saved every year by increasing plastic packaging recycling rates to 70% – up from 51% currently, the equivalent of taking around 685,000 cars off the road.

Ms Churchill said: “Viridor’s ambitious new facility will be a game changer in our work recycling more of our waste and to reduce our use of polluting plastics – cutting exports of waste and making better use of our resources.

“This government is taking firm action to eliminate avoidable plastic waste and go further to reduce, reuse and recycle more of our resources. Through our new Environment Act, we will create a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, introduce tougher controls on waste exports and make manufacturers more responsible for their packaging.

“The new Avonmouth site shows we can create jobs that have a positive impact on our environment, cut our CO2 emissions and give our plastics new life.”

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