Wham recycles 'single use' plastic

Following China's import ban on plastic, Burnley-based What More UK has developed a solution to recycle what were previously considered single-use materials.

What More UK Upcycled

The company says that the UK previously disposed of 600 tonnes of plastic each year by shipping it to China, before the Asian country halted the process this January.

Single use plastics include items such as margarine tubs and yoghurt containers, this plastic is called PP. These items are traditionally difficult to sort for recycling and therefore it was not viable to recycle these items within the UK, they were then shipped abroad.

New sorting technology has meant this is now easier and commercially viable.

While much of the national debate is focused on whether non-recyclables should be burned or buried, What More UK, the largest UK manufacturer of British household plastic products, was determined to find an alternative.

Working directly with recycling centres, the company trialled, tested and launched a commercially viable product range made from 95 per cent post-consumer waste plastic.

The post-consumer waste is collected, recycled and washed. The plastic bales are turned into granules with heat, and  delivered to the What More UK factory where they are melted and injected into moulds. The moulds include the new UPCYCLED plastic boxes.

Tony Grimshaw, managing director of What More UK, said: “The UPCYCLED range is a huge triumph for us.

"Instead of finding another way to either pass on the PP plastic - incinerate it, creating toxic chemicals, or put it into landfill, where it can take up to half a millennium to decay - What More UK made the decision to work towards a viable long-term solution. "We are urging manufacturers, the government and the public to get on board with a solution. I want to shout about a positive solution to the problem the UK is facing.”