A Perth-based recycling firm has become the first in Scotland to sign up to an innovative recycling scheme.
Wyllie Recycling has joined the OneCircle scheme to deliver a recycling service for breweries in Scotland – but the move has already attracted enquiries from firms south of the border.
The process sees empty plastic drinks kegs or KeyKegs dismantled and high-quality plastic re-used to make new kegs.
The firm, which employs 26 staff, also handles full kegs, and is authorised to destruct beers and similar products, allowing the brewer to claim back excise duty on products which have not sold or are out of date.
All the beverages are processed into high-quality fertilizer and renewable energy.
John Gilmour, commercial manager of Wyllie Recycling said the demand for greater levels of keg recycling has been driven by consumers and brewers themselves as the Scottish craft beer sector grew.
He said: “Previously, kegs were made of metal and once they were emptied they were returned and refilled.
“With greater levels of exports however, it was becoming increasingly difficult to have the kegs returned and this led to the introduction of plastic kegs.
“People see the issues of plastic on their TVs every night and want action taken and that’s what we are doing.
“It also ensures KeyKeg is ahead of the game when it comes to Scotland’s move towards a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans and is delivering on its commitment to the circular economy.
“We are the first in Scotland to sign up to the OneCircle scheme.”
Currently, 30% of a KeyKeg is made from recycled material but the ambition is to make the kegs fully circular and this is part of meeting that goal.
The project, described as an “exciting development” for the firm, is the next stage of a realignment which saw the company move away from the waste management and landfill side of the industry.
Mr Gilmour said: “We simply don’t see ourselves doing the same thing we have been doing for the past five or ten years.”
Annemieke Hartman from OneCircle said: “KeyKeg is the industry leader when it comes to circular design and we work with partners as part of our initiative to manage and accelerate the recycling of our kegs.
“I am pleased to welcome Wyllie Recycling to the OneCircle community and the expertise it brings.”
The firm will be exhibiting at the Beer Matters Conference later this month.