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Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 11:33 GMT
Massive recycling boost at paper plant
Shotton Paper
The investment at Shotton Paper will cost 77m
A 77m investment at a north Wales plant will secure 500 jobs and mean huge rise in the amount of paper recycled.

The approval of a government grant will lead to a fibre pulp facility being built at Shotton Paper's Deeside site which should mean an extra four million households being involved in recycling schemes.

It will also produce huge environmental benefits by greatly increasing the amount of paper recycled

Welsh Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan
The project will turn waste into paper and is part of a government drive to increase recycling in the UK.

Welsh Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan said it is a step in the right direction to achieving European directives.

"The proposed investment by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) will enhance the performance at Shotton securing employment at the plant," he said.

"It will also produce huge environmental benefits by greatly increasing the amount of paper recycled.

"This is a major part of the new waste strategy for Wales and I hope that the new capacity will assist local authorities in Wales to expand their own recycling operations."

According to assembly statistics Wales is near the bottom of the European league in waste management.

Currently around 95% of domestic rubbish in Wales goes to landfill sites.

Over 90% of waste goes to landfill sites

Despite a series of government and EU targets, the proportion that is recycled has remained around 5%.

To comply with EU directives, ministers want that to increase to 25% by 2005, rising to at least 33% by 2015.

Bosses at the plant have said that this latest investment will have far reaching implications.

Increased efficiency

Shotton Paper's Managing Director Martin Gale said: "It's very significant for local authorities within a 100 mile radius.

"They now have an outlet available to them for recycling newspapers and magazines."

The plant's Finland-based parent company, UPM Kymmene, say the investment will increase efficiency at the plant.

The development means the company will be able to take an additional 320,000 tonnes of recovered newspapers and magazines every year.

UPM have said it is unlikely to lead to the creation of any more jobs at Shotton however the move has been seen as a significant boost to the local economy.

Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami said: "This is great news for Shotton Paper, the company is going from strength to strength and this is an extremely significant victory."

Many local authorities will be assisted in meeting their national recycling targets

Wrap Chairman Vic Cocker

The new Recycled Fibre Pulp facility is due to be commissioned in September 2003 and is expected to be up to full production by April 2004.

Wrap Chairman Vic Cocker said the recycling facility would help local authorities become more environmentally friendly.

"Many local authorities will be assisted in meeting their national recycling targets by the early and guaranteed provision of this new capacity," he said.

The investment will convert Shotton Paper, the UK's largest newsprint mill, to use 100% recycled fibre.

To ensure the efficient flow of reusable fibre from the new local authority recycling schemes - where there are currently low levels of paper recovery from the waste stream - contract agreements and collection development will commence immediately.

More news from north east Wales
See also:

21 Nov 01 | UK
Getting in the recycle lane
15 Dec 99 | Sci/Tech
Half paper waste 'could be saved'
27 Jul 01 | Scotland
Paper mill closure costs 250 jobs
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