Lancashire site included in ecoPlant plans that will generate 750 jobs

CGI of proposed plastic recycling plant

Lancashire is included in plans to build up to 10 ecoPlants around the country as part of a £400m investment.

At their peak, the ecoPlant facilities should create more than 750 direct jobs, and potentially thousands of indirect jobs when they move from development into the construction and operation phases.

London-based Clean Planet Energy has announced a joint venture with private equity firm Crossroads Real Estate to fund a flagship plant in Teesside, which will be the first of 10 plants around the UK aimed at tackling the plastic waste crisis.

The other potential sites include Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, and South Wales , with further locations and announcements to be made in the months ahead.

Clean Planet Energy’s ecoPlant is a green, advanced recycling facility intended to process non-recyclable and hard-to-recycle waste plastics that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Each ecoPlant is designed to accept 20,000 tonnes of plastics each year and to convert this waste into ultra-low sulphur fuels to replace fossil fuels in the transport and heavy-machinery sectors, and petrochemical feedstocks, including naphtha, which can be used to make new plastic products without the need to use fossil-based feedstocks.

Ultra-low-sulphur diesel can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75% compared with the use of traditional diesel, while the joint venture could also lead to more than 200,000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle waste plastics being repurposed for use in the circular supply chain each year.

Data from 2021 shows that the UK still generates more than two million tonnes of plastic waste each year, with well over 60% of this not suitable for recycling.

In November 2022, the Government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee published a report focusing on accelerating the reduction of plastic waste, with advanced recycling identified as a key policy recommendation.

By developing new ecoPlants throughout the UK, Clean Planet Energy and Crossroads Real Estate are opening a route for traditionally non-recyclable plastic waste to be repurposed into sustainable and circular-economy products, thereby cutting plastic pollution, reducing the amount of waste entering UK landfill, and also lowering greenhouse gas emissions when the waste is converted into ultra-low-sulphur diesel and used as a low-carbon fuel replacement.

David Gillerman, founding partner and CEO of Crossroads Real Estate, said: “At Crossroads, we are committed to green opportunities and impact investing as demonstrated already through our sustainable hotels strategy. We look forward to partnering with Clean Planet Energy to roll out ecoPlants across the UK, including the flagship ecoPlant already under construction in Teesside.”

Bertie Stephens, group CEO of Clean Planet Energy, said: “Clean Planet Energy’s mission is to remove over one million tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste from our environment, every year. This exciting partnership gives us the capacity to make a significant dent in this target.”

Earlier this year, Clean Planet Energy announced a 10-year agreement with global energy company bp plc to offtake its circular products from its ecoPlants into the market.

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