A large selection of household plastic products ready for recycling

Plastics recycling business opportunities report

27 Feb 23

What are the plastics recycling business opportunities in Scotland?

This study has identified potentially viable business opportunities to increase recycling capacity in Scotland and thus contribute to this infrastructure gap. It focuses on business opportunities that complement existing activity – essentially opportunities that address current “weaknesses” in the supply chain.

The report was carried out by Optimat and was published in June 2012.

The business opportunities that have been identified and analysed are:

  • Processing of mixed, contaminated rigid plastic waste
  • Processing of mixed contaminated plastic film waste
  • Collection and compaction of expanded polystyrene waste
  • Processing of waste u-PVC window and door profiles
  • Processing of waste plastics from WEEE.

Analysis of the business models and financial viability for these opportunities indicate that four of them do offer the potential of viable business opportunities but that the collection and compaction of expanded polystyrene waste currently does not. This is due to the costs of collection and processing due to the low density of the material.


Optimat recommended that Zero Waste Scotland:

  • Raise awareness of these opportunities and encourages investment in new recycling capacity in Scotland.
  • Catalyse the development of the collection infrastructure and activities in Scotland.  This will require engagement with public and private sector organisations to extend and optimise collection activities and to enhance the management and segregation of waste collected.
  • Assess opportunities to support the development of markets for recycled materials.