Boomerang Plastics recycling plant shuts down

Midlands-based recycling firm Boomerang Plastics has been shut down by parent group Summit Systems.


It brings to an end four years of plastics recycling operations, with all creditors paid and the site being cleared and equipment sold. A spokesperson told Packaging News 12 staff have been made redundant, two of whom have been transferred to other divisions.

Boomerang Plastics was established in 2011 and expanded rapidly on the back of a contract to process used Muller yogurt pots. It comprised a unique processing line developed to separate the unusual mixture of part-clean plastic pots, yogurt, printed wrappers, card and foil – Warwick University was involved in the initial line design that addressed the issues of multiple materials and colours.

A line was conceived that harnessed cutting edge density separation technology, cold washing, hot washing, chemical separation and colour picking. Specialist software was used to map out the design intricacies of the plant.

It processed 150-200 tonnes of waste per week which enabled circulation back into the packaging chain.

Mike Jordan, managing director of plastics ancillary business Summit Systems and owner of Boomerang Plastics, said the business was plagued with a number of issues ranging from a 2014 arson attack that led to a relocation, a hike in both electricity and insurance prices, the plummeting price of oil and, ultimately, a lack of incentive to recycle in the UK.

Jordan said he would now be focussing on supplying the industry with recycling equipment.

“We are of course disappointed with the outcome, but, we have learnt some valuable lessons and have walked away ensuring all our creditors were paid. We will now be focusing on driving forward our successful new recycling systems business ‘Summit Recycling Systems’ which will design and build MRF and PRF sorting plants.”

The plastic recycling industry is going through tough times, with the low price of recycled material, high insurance and a lack of incentive to recycle in the UK have left many businesses unfeasible.

Globally, the market for plastics recycling is not getting smaller as plastic usage increases. However it is cheaper to recycle internationally where labour costs are low hence the UK market is shrinking.

There is also criticism about the UK’s recycling targets, which some experts claim are not genuinely met as collecting and exporting is not the same as recycling.