The world’s first commercial scale advanced plastics recycling plant of its kind has opened on Teesside.

Mura Technology’s purpose-built facility at Wilton International – part of the Teesside Freeport - will provide up to 50 direct jobs, after creating around 150 jobs during construction and commissioning.

The site will process flexible and rigid mixed plastics, including films, which were previously considered unrecyclable and so are currently sent to incineration, landfill, or leaked into the environment.

  • The BUSINESSiQ Awards are back for 2024 - nominate your business heroes HERE

The site, called ReNew ELP, opened its doors to members of the recycling and waste sectors and advocates of the HydroPRS advanced recycling process, alongside senior leaders from Mura’s partners and global industry companies; Dow, Chevron Phillips Chemical, KBR, igus and LG Chem, who toured the facility.

Mura Technology’s process uses water at high temperature and high pressure to recycle waste plastics thought to be unrecyclable via traditional methods, into high-quality, liquid hydrocarbons that can be used to replace the use of fossil-based oils in the manufacture of new plastic and other products.

It means there is no limit to how many times the same material can be recycled –providing the potential to significantly cut single-use plastics, contributing to the circular economy and considerably reducing CO2 emissions for the plastics value chain.

The site has capacity to produce 20,000 tonnes of recycled liquid hydrocarbon products annually, with scope to expand production to over three times this initial size.

Dr Steve Mahon, Mura Technology’s CEO, said: “The opening of our first-of-its-kind, next generation recycling facility is a groundbreaking achievement and the culmination of four years of dedication.

“Our process is unlocking a new market for plastic waste, creating value and keeping both plastic and carbon in circularity. The technology works alongside existing mechanical recycling to ensure no plastic types are considered ‘unrecyclable’ and require incineration or landfilling.  

“With support from our partners, the Teesside site will be the first in Mura’s global roll-out, helping in the fight against the plastic pollution and global warming crises and acting as a launchpad for the 1,000,000 tonnes of annual recycling capacity that Mura plans to have in operation and development within this decade.”  

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This world-first facility demonstrates how our area is leading the way in developing highly skilled, green industries which will, most importantly, provide good quality jobs and investment for the future.

“We are supporting ambitious and innovative projects across the Teesside Freeport and we are seeing how groundbreaking facilities such as this can work to provide local jobs whilst also solving environmental issues.

“I want Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington to be at the forefront of new technologies and this excellent facility developed by Mura Technology is a great example of what we can achieve.”