A milestone for the UK’s net zero strategy has been reached following unanimous approval for the country’s first Plastic Park to be located at Protos, Cheshire.

The £165m (US$197m) park aims to recycle 367,500 tonnes of plastic every year through the use of processing and treatment technologies supplied by Peel NRE (part of Peel L&P). 

Greenlit by councils at Cheshire West and Chester, the Park will also see development of an onsite hydrogen refuelling station. 

Designed to deliver ‘creative solutions’ to the UK’s plastic problem, Richard Barker, Development Director, Peel NRE, said, “This project clusters recycling technologies in one place so that we can make the most of a whole range of plastic materials arriving on site, avoiding the need to ship them to different facilities around the region.” 

In addition to recycling plastics, the facility helps to reduce the movement of vehicles, further reducing emissions and contributing to a North West circular economy. 

“We’ve planned Protos as a holistic destination to support the UK on the road to net zero,” he added. 

Plastic Park at Protos - Artist impression 2022

Plastic Park at Protos - Artist impression 2022

Source: Protos

The announcement comes soon after the reveal of Protos’ CO2 network, which aims to capture 800,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. 

Again, developed by Peel NRE, the network aims to accelerate a carbon capture cluster and reach net zero by storing greenhouse gases in offshore depleted gas fields beneath Liverpool Bay. 

Set to become a hub for sustainability and low-carbon energy, the Plastic Park has had a run of recent consents, such as the UK’s first plastic hydrogen facility and a PET recycling plant used to recycle plastic bottles for use in new packaging products.

The full scope of the facility’s plastic recycling capabilities includes dry mixed recyclables such as glass, paper, cans, and a variety of plastics ranging from crisp packets and baby food pouches to plastic bottles. 

The hydrogen refuelling station will take hydrogen from the consented plastic to the hydrogen facility to supply up to one tonne of hydrogen per day to vehicles.