Two UK packaging firms partner to create bioenergy facility

Two UK packaging firms have joined forces to create the world's first dedicated sustainable energy facility fuelled by organic waste to power the manufacture of corrugated sheet board.

Scottish drinks packaging firm McLaren Packaging and Staffordshire-based printed packaging supplier Swanline Group have joined forces to create their new CorrBoard Bioenergy (CB Bio) plant. McLaren's £5.5 million (€6.3 million) investment will facilitate carbon neutral corrugated material for use at McLaren and Swanline's manufacturing plants in Port Glasgow and Staffordshire.

The 6,400MW per annum plant, created using processing and software technology from plant construction firm BioConstruct, will have the capacity to convert 25,000 tonnes of biological waste that would otherwise have been destined for landfill. The energy produced will provide more than twice CB Bio's energy consumption, equivalent to the electricity and heat needed to supply 1,500 homes.

Some of the organic waste needed for the plant will be sourced from Swanline and McLaren's packaging users who require 'compliant food waste disposal', contributing to a circular economy. The resulting by-product will be a high-quality fertiliser, pasteurised and certified to PAS 110, which will be used on local farmland to support crop growth.

The plant will have an automated de-packing line and will accommodate waste delivered in tankers, on pallets or in specialist skips. CB Bio is also certified to process Category 2 and 3 animal by-product wastes as well as vegetable food waste.

Donald McLaren, managing director of McLaren Packaging, said: "This world-first sustainable energy generation facility is a game-changer in the paper-based packaging sector and demonstrates how, through investment, collaboration and innovation, the sector can rise to meet the pressing environmental challenge through sustainable production solutions.

"Sustainability has become a prime concern of the whisky industry and, as a major supplier of paper-based packaging products to the whisky sector, our investment in this innovative facility puts is in the unique position of being able to offer our drinks customers a fully circular and sustainable production solution."

"CB Bio is a bold statement to our customers who genuinely want to produce corrugated packaging with strong ecological credentials," said Nick Kirby, CEO of Swanline Group. "This is a timely venture providing greener solutions and industry leading benefits for consumers of paper-based packaging. Swanline is committed to providing our customers with a difference and this investment epitomises that pledge."

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