• New Intarema machine is biggest in the world and the first in the UK
  • Will allow firm to recycle hard-to-process materials diverting thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill and incineration

Lancashire-based plastic recycling business Preston Plastics has unveiled a new machine that will allow it to more than double production at its reprocessing facility near Garstang.

The business has installed a new Intarema plastic recycling and extrusion machine, becoming the first company in the UK to have the state-of-the-art technology. The machine, built by Austrian firm Erema, is also the biggest of its kind in the world.

The £1.3m piece of kit is part of a total £2m investment in plant and machinery at the firm’s premises at Out Rawcliffe. It will allow Preston Plastics to recycle previously hard-to-process materials, such as heavily printed packaging waste, as well as improving quality, efficiency and overall consistency.

The investment also includes a new industrial shredder, two fountain blenders and special IsoCool chillers that recirculate and cool the water used in the recycling process.

Edgar Wallace, managing director of Preston Plastics, said: “This new machine gives us nearly three times the capacity we had previously. It means we can continue to meet the increased demand we are seeing from the plastics industry, both in terms of volume and the types of plastic being recycled, diverting thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill and incineration.

“Constantly investing in new technology ensures we remain at the cutting edge of the plastics recycling industry. These are exciting times for the business as we plan for the future.”

Preston Plastics’ state-of-the-art recycling plant operates 24-hours a day, collecting and processing a wide variety of waste plastics from across the UK from sectors including packaging, medical, building and construction, and automotive.

Using the latest technology, the waste is converted into quality reprocessed plastic compound which is sold back to the plastics industry to be used in the manufacture of products such as plastic storage boxes, paint trays, car bumpers andpallets.

The business, which employs 27 full time staff, exports 60 per cent of its products into European markets.