Closed-Loop manufacturing

Our low-energy, waste-efficient manufacturing model

Smile Plastics Factory. Image credit: Handover

Inside the factory

Our new UK-based factory has, in the last year, seen an increase in production capacity, with the potential to divert over 3000 tonnes of plastic waste annually, producing over 300 3mx1.2m sheets each week, and converting almost 70 tonnes of 100% recycled material every seven days.


Our manufacturing process is based on craftsmanship and high-quality engineering. Whether it’s the sourcing and sorting of raw materials, or the manufacturing of panels and finished products, everything is handled with care, and much of what we do is by hand.

To keep our carbon footprint low, Smile Plastics equipment uses a fraction of the energy that traditional plastics processing machinery uses – and we’re constantly improving, too. We also try to source our supplies as close as possible to our factory.

We can influence sheet production to a certain extent but the process will always win. There’s always an unexpected element. It’s one of the reasons the raw material makes each sheet unique.

Smile Plastics material press
Smile Plastics material press
Smile Plastics press team
Smile Plastics press team

Turning Plastic Waste into a Circular Resource

We currently divert 1500 tonnes of waste plastics per year and are scaling our capacity to divert 3000 tonnes annually in Wales alone within the next 12 months. Our aim is to realise the true value of plastics and keep these materials in circulation for as long as possible; not only can our materials be recycled by local waste management companies, but we also offer a buy-back scheme on all fabrication waste/end-of-life materials to turn these materials full circle again.


Think Globally, Manufacture Locally

Our decentralised manufacturing model promotes the production of materials on a local or regional level, with our factory in Swansea setting the blueprint. By adopting this approach to manufacturing, we hope to harness the potential of localised waste streams, reducing transportation costs and associated environmental impacts.

Our mission is to create a conscious community on a global scale – by decentralising manufacture of 100% recycled products, we can achieve this.

Adding Value to "Waste"

Our processes allow us to recycle and add value to a range of waste streams from Christmas decorations to textiles, but our main focus is on plastics given their huge environmental burden. These plastics are often food and medical packaging from pre- and post-consumer sources. We have a standard range of large-format materials, and we also work on custom material solutions, based on our clients’ aesthetic or technical requirements.

Fuelling Change

As part of our move to a larger facility in Swansea, we retained the biomass boiler that had long stood as the energy source for the site. We continue to harness the energy as heat for our offices and manufacturing facilities. By choosing wood pellets as a renewable energy source, the carbon dioxide they produce when they are burnt is offset by the carbon dioxide they absorb while they are growing.

Savings in carbon dioxide emissions are significant – up to 9.5 tonnes per year when a wood boiler replaces a solid (coal) fired system or electric storage heating. Biomass boilers also utilise organic materials that can be sustainably sourced, thereby reducing reliance on finite fossil fuels and minimising greenhouse gas emissions.

Inside the biomass boiler at Smile Plastics. Image credit: Handover
Inside the biomass boiler at Smile Plastics. Image credit: Handover
Production team at work
Production team at work

Widening the circle

Our new factory diverts plastic waste from more than 60 local businesses around Swansea and beyond, and works in partnership with community groups and organisations including Cwm Environmental and The Environment Centre Swansea, to source raw materials and tackle specific waste streams.

We are constantly experimenting with new materials and processes to help widen the potential of the circular economy for plastics and beyond. If you’d like to chat to us more about anything you’ve read above, please get in touch. Collaboration, we believe, is the key to a brighter future.

Earth Collection Available to Specify Now