The environmental credentials of Scotland’s largest export took a significant step forward today as Scottish Cabinet Secretary, Richard Lochhead MSP, opened the UK’s “most advanced” glass recycling facility at Newhouse, North Lanarkshire.
The facility, a £25m investment by Viridor, is one of only three similar facilities in the world.
The Newhouse recycling centre is helping drive Scotland’s circular economy, reducing reliance on imported materials for whisky and beverage bottles, and ensuring 100% of Scottish packaging glass is fit for use by the burgeoning Scotch whisky and drinks sectors.
Recycling glass from 17 Scottish local authorities, the facility recovers up to 97% of input materials, importantly achieving up to 99% product purity, exceeding the quality requirements for a Scotch sector focused on high-end product packaging.
Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment – “Glass packaging is important to a number of Scottish food and drinks manufacturers and glass recycling makes sense for our economy and the environment”
Featuring advanced recycling technology from across the globe, the centre encompasses some 15 “scientific eye” optical sorters, x-ray sorters, over ½ km of conveyer belts and 2.5km of electrical cabling across 3 floors of processing towers.
The latest investment, part of £357m recycling and renewable energy infrastructure programme by the business in Scotland over the last 25-months, offers the ability to colour-sort mixed glass back to original streams for a high quality recyclate, rejecting material contamination.
Developed on a recovered waste crime site closed by SEPA and Police Scotland in 2012, the 70,000 Sq Ft Viridor site creates 30 full-time jobs whilst boosting government warm homes objectives through a partnership with insulation provider, Superglass in Stirling.
The facility has been shortlisted for prestigious Scottish Government backed VIBES Awards for its contribution to the circular economy.
Ian McAulay, Chief Executive, Viridor: “Building on existing network and over £357m of investment in Scotland’s green economy over the last 24-months, Newhouse brings the UK’s most advanced glass recycling centre home to the central belt and places Scotland at the leading edge of global glass recycling.
“A vital key in unlocking Scottish Government circular economy policy, this latest investment will not only help drive glass recycling and the sustainability of Scotch whisky, but will be a real boost for a Lanarkshire economy fast becoming an important base for Scotland’s green sectors.”
Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, said: “Glass packaging is important to a number of Scottish food and drinks manufacturers and glass recycling makes sense for our economy and the environment.
“I recently launched the Scottish Government’s consultation on taking steps to create a more circular economy in Scotland. In a world of finite resources, where global populations and consumption growth are driving increased volatility and vulnerability in the supply of raw materials, the circular economy offers a new and exciting perspective. Recycling is just a part of that. A more circular economy will conserve our finite resources, help support jobs in our communities, and improve our quality of life.”
Richard Lochhead will be speaking at this year’s Scottish Resource Conference 2015 on creating the future: circular economy policy in Scotland & Europe. For information on how to attend click here