Wales to double plastic reprocessing with new facility

Plastic recycling capacity in Wales will double when a £45m facility opens in Swansea, said the Welsh Government.

Recycling company Jayplas will develop a 100,000 tonnes-a-year operation at the former Toyoda Gosei car parts factory, whose closure was announced in 2021.

Economic minister Vaughan Gething said: “Increasing capacity to reprocess and recycle plastic in Wales opens opportunities to create an innovative and sustainable industry.

“This project includes significant skilled and green job creation, supports our decarbonisation journey, increases our reprocessing and recycling capacity, and supports a stronger, fairer and greener economy.”

The Welsh Government said the facility would reduce the country's carbon footprint by 150,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of taking 120,000 cars off the road. The country is already renowned as one of the world's top recyclers, with more than 65% of municipal waste reused, recycled or composted. The Government aims to make Wales zero waste by 2050.

Jayplas’s facility will be developed to include a mixed kerbside rigid plastics and film sorting plant, bottle wash and extrusion plant, and flexible packaging wash and processing plant.

The company currently operates film processing plants in Birmingham and Grimsby, a plastics recovery facility in Alfreton, PET wash plant in Corby, and LDPE film wash plant and film processing, recycling and extrusion plant in Loughborough.

Commercial manager Kerry O'Neill said: “We will utilise the latest, state-of-the-art technology to ensure we have market-leading facilities producing the highest quality products, and bring long-term investment and sustainable employment to the area.”

The closure of Toyoda’s Swansea plant affected 228 jobs but the new facility is said to be creating more than 100 new ones. Toyoda Gosei UK’s managing director Shigenori Matsuo said he was delighted to have provided Jayplas with a strong foundation.

Welsh minister for climate change, Julie James, said the move aligned with the plans for zero waste and net-zero carbon: “[It] is well timed as we work to bring in the new Workplace Recycling Regulations in April next year, which will further improve the supply of high-quality plastic for recycling.”