Yes Recycling, a plastic recycling company based in the UK, announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art plastic recycling facility in Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland, in September 2021.
The recycling plant is the first of its kind to convert soft flexible food packaging such as chocolate wrappers, crisp packets and food film into plastic flakes, pellets and boards to develop new plastic products in a “closed loop”.
Located at Whitehill Industrial Estate in Glenrothes, the site is co-owned by UK-based supermarket chain Morrisons. The facility officially opened in February 2023.
In April 2023 Yes Recycling, along with the new facility, was placed under administration as the facility failed to reach full production levels, leading to cashflow difficulties.
Details of the new plastic recycling facility
The facility has the capacity to recycle 15,000t of low-grade post-consumer plastic per year, utilising its state-of-the-art patented recycling technology.
Waste plastic for recycling was sourced from Morrisons’ Bellshill distribution sites and Dunfermline-based Cireco, a UK-based waste management company, which processes material gathered from kerbside collections and other commercial sites.
The sourced waste plastic is washed, sorted, broken down and turned into pellets, while the residual pellets are compressed to form Ecosheet, a new-generation high-strength, eco-friendly alternative to plywood, which can be re-used and recycled again. Yes Recycling launched Ecosheet to reduce its environmental impact.
The facility also enabled hard-to-recycle plastics to be recycled at a large scale locally, avoiding landfilling or incinerating waste.
Key players involved
Yes Recycling collaborated with businesses, authorities and investors based in Scotland for the project, including Scottish Development International (SDI), Scottish Enterprise, Zero Waste Scotland, InvestFife, Business Gateway Fife and Ecosurety.
Zero Waste Scotland sourced £520,000 ($717,964) through the Circular Economy Investment Fund, a part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises based in Scotland.
Nestlé provided a pre-investment of £1.65m ($2.25m) for the facility’s development in September 2021. The pre-investment was managed by Ecosurety on behalf of Nestlé. The investment was part of Nestlé’s commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable and reusable and to reduce the use of virgin plastic by one-third by 2025.
In November 2021, Morrisons acquired a significant stake in the recycling facility as part of its commitment to recycle and reuse the equivalent amount of plastic that enters the market through its sales of packaged products within its recycling facilities by 2025.
Recycling services offered by Yes Recycling
Yes Recycling worked with UK-based companies to develop and implement end-to-end commercially viable and eco-friendly solutions to manage its customers’ plastic waste responsibly.
The recycling is carried out at its facilities, which provide customers with a fully auditable, end-to-end custody chain for their waste. The company recycles filmed and rigid plastics and offers speciality recycling of banknotes, safety hats and bottles.
The firm recycles a range of polymer streams and produces different types of recycled polymers. The recycled materials can be sold either as high-quality pellets or flakes. Yes Recycling also ensures its customers a long-term, stable supply of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) coloured pellets, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) natural pellets, high-density (HD) olefin flakes, and polypropylene and polystyrene pellets.