Recycling Technologies takes recycling to the next level
UK-based Recycling Technologies, who is exhibiting at PRSE2019 in Amsterdam, takes a different approach to recycling than other players in the industry. The company that has developed a modular and scalable machine called the RT7000 which is able to chemically convert plastic waste, which currently cannot be recycled.
The company produces a hydrocarbon feedstock product called Plaxx, which can be processed into fuels, waxes or plastics. The company opened its first assembly plant in the UK at the end of last year where, according to Recycling Technologies CEO Adrian Griffiths, some 200 machines a year will be able to be produced.
Plastics News Europe caught up with Griffiths in Amsterdam, who took the time to answer a few question.
Asked about competitors in the field, he was brief but clear. “I prefer to think of them as collaborators in the war against plastic,” he said. He explained that there was a considerable difference between his company’s strategy and that of his competitors.
“By and large, they are aiming to build a facility to bring plastics to, in order to be recycled. We are taking a different approach. We don’t want to build a facility – we’ve built a machine that can be bolted on to existing recycling facilities,” he said. It is a different business model entirely.
“By selling a machine to a facility that is up and running, that has got the infrastructure in place, we can get to scale much faster. Why should we create new infrastructure? Plus, by combining the two technologies, the fraction that remains after mechanical recycling can be put through the chemical recycling process, instead of burning or landfilling it.”
Griffiths went on to talk about the new demonstration facility that is being built which is doing just that.
After taking part in the pioneer Project Lodestar, an initiative facilitated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in which the advantages of combining mechanical and chemical recycling in a single facility were explored through desktop modelling – ‘it was essentially a thought piece,’ said Griffiths– fellow project participant Zero Waste Scotland came to the decision to implement the model.
The result is Project Beacon, which will see the construction of the world’s first demonstration Advanced Plastics Reprocessing facility in the Tay Cities Region. According to the model developed, compared to mechanical recycling alone an aPRF has the potential to increase waste operators’ revenue by 25% and improve the payback on investment in the facility’s equipment by 11%. The project has two phases: Phase 1 will be the development of the aPRF (project Beacon), a major integrated waste facility in Tayside, and Phase 2 will be the development of a next generation advanced plastic sorting facility as a global blueprint for best in class recycling to recycle 90%+ of all household plastics. In other words, said Griffiths, feedstock recycling will come first, and then the mechanical recycling facility will be put in place.
“So many people are confused about which plastic goes in which bin, we decided to try a different approach,” Griffiths explained. “We tell them, if you think it’s plastic, put it in – in other words put all kinds of plastics together in one bin for kerbside collection. This way, people can be sure that the plastic will be recycled, either mechanically or chemically, and the volume of plastic that is collected will increase,” he said.
“We aim to have no plastics left behind.”