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Monday, 04 July 2016 13:40

Swindon firm's commercialisation of plastic waste recycling promises 80% boost

Difficult to recycle plastics have been made into energy feedstock or plastic production product on a commercial scale that promises to propel plastic waste recycling globally from 10% to 90%.

plastic recycle1Swindon-based Recycling Technologies [RT] has developed a process for recycling end of life plastic into the Plaxx™ product. The process has been demonstrated at laboratory levels for some time but now it has been shown to be proven at near commercial scale in a large pilot plant built by RT.

The company believe this new chemical recycling technology now offers a solution to the problem of disposing of plastic waste.

At the World Economic Forum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey recently published a report, "The New Plastic Economy," which found that:

· Globally, only 10% of the plastic produced is recycled
· The 311 million tonnes produced in 2014 is set to double over the next 20 years
· By 2025, there will be 1 tonne of plastic in the world's oceans for every 3 tonnes of fish, and by 2050, plastic will exceed the fish by weight

RT's ambition is to provide a scalable solution to boost the global recycling rate, allowing the world to avoid the 2050 fish/plastic weight prediction. The chemical recycling process has been embodied in the design of a machine, the RT7000, which will be assembled on production lines then installed at Material Recovery Facilities around the world.

The Plaxx™ made by these machines is already useable as a low sulphur fuel and wax substitute and fractions will ultimately be used by global polymer manufacturers as the feedstock for making more polymer, therefore making plastic a sustainable resource.

plastic recycle2Adrian Griffiths, CEO of RT, comments, "The waste of plastic, after what is often a very short lifespan, is highly damaging. Environmentally, it is distressing, but commercially it is also shocking, since 280 million tonnes of polymer worth over £300 billion is wasted each year. We are thrilled then, that the commercial demonstrator of the machine we want to mass produce is operational and viable.

"This is not only great news for RT but also for the global environment. We are very keen to now raise the investment and complete the first RT7000 in order to bring this exciting process to market."

The pilot plant is soon to be relocated from RT's manufacturing facility to Swindon Borough Council. Griffiths comments further, "We are really appreciative of the support shown by the Council and now we can't wait to get on Swindon's recycling site and show the world what can be achieved when universities and specialists collaborate, as has happened in this project, to solve a major global problem"

Recycling Technologies has been formed to commercialise the development of the plastic recycling technique established originally by the University of Warwick.

LINKS
Recycling Technologies
The New Plastic Economy