Innovative new recycling investment for Scotland

Pioneering plastics recycling firm Yes Recycling is the latest company to invest in Scotland as a haven for sustainable business.

Buckinghamshire-based, privately owned recycling specialist, Yes Recycling has chosen Glenrothes as home for its state-of-the-art reprocessing facility, creating 60 new jobs in the local area.

An innovation leader within the industry, it has invested millions of pounds in the new Fife site which will open in late October 2021.

It will focus on sustainable uses for hard-to-recycle, yet pervasive, plastics such as:

  • Hard hats
  • Bank notes
  • Clothes hangers
  • Printed packaging film - for example, sweet and crisp wrappers
  • Post-industrial and construction waste-streams
  • Bottle caps

Patented recycling technology

The company will take Fife's plastic waste and turn it into ‘Ecosheet’, a revolutionary alternative to plywood.

Ecosheet has the same strength and cost as plywood but a much greater life span. Unlike plywood, it’s recyclable which can help reduce the environmental impact of the construction and manufacturing industries.

The plant will use patented recycling technology to annually repurpose 15,000 tonnes of low-grade post-consumer plastic into pellets and flake, as well as creating the high strength plywood alternative.

“Unlike other products, Ecosheet is created using mixed polymers, utilising what other manufacturers throw away. Flexi plastics will always be a controversial material - as a business we are focused on educating others on the positives of this resource, and the opening of our new facility timely coincides with COP26 in Glasgow”, explains Omer Kutluoglu, Co-Founder and Director of Yes Recycling.

While new to Fife, Yes Recycling is already a leader in the UK recycling field with a passion for reusing plastics in new ways. One example of how the business is leading change is the The National Hard Hat Scheme, whose wide UK membership has committed to preventing hard hats going to landfill.

Boosting Scottish business

The team at Yes Recycling blends a focus on making a positive impact on the environment, with a robust circular economic strategy. Zero Waste Scotland has supported the project with an investment of £520,000 from the Circular Economy Investment Fund with contributions made by the European Regional Development Fund and the Scottish Government.

Andrew Dickson, Business Investment manager at Zero Waste Scotland, describes the impact the new facility will have on the local economy:

"Yes Recycling's new facility in Glenrothes is an excellent illustration of the supply chain collaborating and how the Circular Economy Investment Fund works.

The fund exists to support innovative projects and businesses and in this case helps Yes Recycling to manufacture reusable products that maximise the value from goods we already have in circulation while at the same time generating economic growth and creating jobs."

Much of the recycling material for the factory will come from Dunfermline-based Cireco, Scotland’s leading complete resource management services, as well as other commercial providers.

Cireco COO Robin Baird notes that the two companies have much in common:

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Yes Recycling to deliver this innovative new project. Yes Recycling and Cireco have shared values in ensuring that previously hard to recycle plastics can now become valuable resources, and help support the delivery of Scotland's circular economy. This continues Cireco goals of ensuring that Fife continues to be seen as open to innovation in the delivery and expansion of the green economy.”

Indeed, Omer Kutluoglu believes the new Scottish branch is perfectly situated:

“Opportunities are limitless for the recycling industry in Scotland with local authority and government guidance focusing on making a change for the better, for the environment and our planet. Investment in change is evident across Scotland, and for us, Fife is the ideal location for our first plant of this kind."

“We’ve been well supported by Fife’s inward investment, business support and employability teams, and look forward to continuing to work with them to make positive changes to Fife’s environmental sustainability and local economy.”

Omer Kutluoglu, Co-Founder and Director of Yes Recycling

New jobs and skills

Opportunities Fife is supporting Yes Recycling’s recruitment drive for the new opening, filling the 60 new roles required with a variety of skilled positions including roles in office management and on the factory floor.

Business Gateway Fife has also provided help with various financing options – through both public and private agencies - to ease the transition into the Fife economy. Their support will enable skills matching, upskilling and career progression for the local community.

Councillor Altany Craik, Convenor - Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, said:  

 “The announcement by Yes Recycling is testimony to the attractiveness of Fife as an accessible and desirable location for such an innovative enterprise. I’m excited to see the new facility in operation later this year, and to understand more about how, as a region, we can be smarter with waste.”

“This is a particularly welcome inward investment within mid-Fife. In the current environment, it really is a fantastic opportunity for Glenrothes and its local community. The positives are boundless in terms of creating jobs, supporting the local economy, as well as strengthening our commitment to the local Climate Action Plan and sustainability."

Councillor Altany Craik, Convenor - Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee

A combined commitment to sustainability in Scotland

The opening of the new location is the result of a fruitful partnership of public and private businesses working together to support Scotland’s commitment to sustainability. Scottish Development International (SDI), in partnership with InvestFife (Fife Council’s Economic Development Team), has been working closely with Yes Recycling to introduce key stakeholders.  

“Yes Recycling’s plans for a new facility in Fife will not only provide a jobs boost to the region, but also support Scotland’s sustainable, green ambitions,” said Mark Hallan, Director of Global Investment, SDI at Scottish Enterprise.

Left to right: Pamela Stevenson, Service Manager Economic Development, Fife Council; Omer Kutluoglu, Co-Founder and Director of Yes Recycling; Councillor Altany Craik; and John McFarlane, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator, Fife Council

Pictured left to right: Pamela Stevenson, Service Manager Economic Development, Fife Council; Omer Kutluoglu, Co-Founder and Director of Yes Recycling; Councillor Altany Craik; and John McFarlane, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator, Fife Council

“As part of our ongoing efforts to attract inward investment to all of Scotland’s communities, Scottish Development International is committed to working in partnership with regional organisations, such as InvestFife. Yes Recycling’s decision to locate in Glenrothes shows that collaborative approach is delivering results.”

Mark Hallan, Director of Global Investment, Scottish Development International at Scottish Enterprise

Looking to the future

Along with Glenrothes, Yes Recycling hopes to inspire local authorities to consider ways in which they too can achieve greener waste solutions, including:

  • New sorting processes
  • Flexi-plastic kerb collection options
  • Recyclable plastic tax reforms
  • Improving recycling rates

All collaborators anticipate that the new facility in Fife will make headway in the repurposing of plastics and drive forward Scotland’s climate change goals.

You can find out more about the company on the Yes Recycling website.

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