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Technology Emerges to Tackle Hard-to-Recycle Plastics

Feedstock recycling has become more globally applicable with places like the U.K. and U.S. looking at emerging technologies to recycle plastics.

Recycling Technologies, a specialist recycling company based in Swindon, England, recently announced a mixed plastics recycling initiative with major British retailer Tesco using its feedstock recycling process.

The Recycling Technologies RT7000 machine is able to recycle residual waste plastic packaging commonly considered “hard to recycle.” This includes plastic films and laminated plastics, which are currently incinerated, buried or exported.

Recycling Technologies converts plastic waste into a wax/oil product called Plaxx. The mixed plastics waste is shredded and fed into a chamber where the material is heated up in the absence of oxygen to break the waste plastic down into a vapor. This is distilled into Plaxx, which can be used in the manufacture of new wax and plastic products.

“As citizens, we all want to do more and take action on plastic waste,” says Adrian Griffiths, CEO and founder of Recycling Technologies. “As a result, the engagement in the trials by the shoppers has been very strong.”

Tesco has started collecting soft plastics that are difficult to recycle in 10 of its stores as part of a trial with Recycling Technologies. Customers will be able to return to trial stores everything from pet food pouches to shopping bags and crisp packets, all of which cannot commonly be recycled.

The end goal of the trial is to show that the technology does exist for recycling these soft plastics and keeping them in the economy but out of landfill.

This partnership came about as part of Tesco’s efforts to make all its packaging recyclable, creating a closed loop by preventing packaging from going to waste.

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