Recycling Technologies is a highly innovative business that has developed a unique process for converting mixed plastic waste into a clean hydrocarbon commodity. Founded in 2011 as a spinout from the University of Warwick, Recycling Technologies aims to produce a competitively priced and flexible solution to the disproportionate growth of plastic waste and combat the growing reliance on landfills. Since the government announced a circular economy framework in December last year that has imposed significant limitations on the use of landfills, the issue of dealing with plastic waste is set to explode and accessible solutions are required, fast.
To carry out its process, Recycling Technologies has developed its first commercialised machine, the RT700, that converts plastic waste into a valuable low sulphur hydrocarbon called Plaxx. Plaxx itself is, in effect, a clean crude oil, and can be processed in the same way. Plaxx can be used as a wax, refinery feedstock, or fuel to power combustion burners, and has significant potential in the marine shipping market. It could also become an alternative fuel for a number of industries that are unable to use gas and therefore have to burn heavy fuel oil in land applications.
The entrepreneurship that the business has shown by assembling separate technologies to create a flexible process that can be widely implemented across a number of different industries is what makes Recycling Technologies truly unique in the recycling market.
Currently being commissioned at RT’s facility, the pilot unit will see extensive trials at Swindon Borough Council’s recycling plant and will pave the way for the production of the first full-sized machine, the RT7000, at the end of this year. With the current backing of over 100 investors and substantial government grants from DECC and BIS, Recycling Technologies plans to produce over 100 machines in the next 10 years.
Recycling Technologies is set to be a major disruptor in the market as a result of the flexibility it offers to clients with its ‘sustainability as a service’ approach. The RT7000 is a modular machine that can be deployed on site therefore eliminating the need for plastic waste to be further transported for incineration or landfill. Not only does this allow for the plastic waste to be processed at a lower cost, it opens the potential for residual plastic waste to be recycled with the goal of eventually achieving a high percentage of plastic-to-plastic circularity.