UK-based recycling and waste management company Biffa has opened a new £27.5m polyethene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle recycling facility in Seaham, County Durham, northern England.

The new facility is part of the company’s initiative to invest in the UK’s recycling infrastructure.

The facility in Seaham is designed to recycle 57,000t of PET plastic a year with expected revenue of £40m.

Biffa CEO Michael Topham said: “This facility will help the UK address two of its most pressing issues – plastic waste and the climate emergency.

“Facilities like ours at Seaham will help ensure that we can recycle our own plastic waste here in the UK, creating jobs in the green economy and stimulating the development of more sustainable packaging.”

Biffa handles plastic waste through its collection and sorting activities, including 4.1 million tonnes of waste the company collects from households and businesses in the UK each year.

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The Seaham facility will provide 100 full-time jobs in the region and convert PET to high-purity plastic pellets that can be used in multiple applications, including food and beverage packaging and clothing.

In a separate development, Biffa has also announced an investment of £7m for a facility in the North East of England.

The investment will expand the company’s recycling capabilities for plastic tubs and trays, handling approximately 20,000t of plastic a year.

At its existing facility in Redcar, Biffa recycles high-density polyethene (HDPE) plastic milk bottles to food-grade recycled HDPE. 85% of milk bottles sold in the UK feature Biffa recycled plastics.

Founded in 1912, Biffa specialises in waste management. The company serves more than 2.3 million households and collects 4.3 million bins a week within its municipal division.