Recovering value from contaminated plastic wastes

Project: Central government, health and local authorities

Project Details


Recycling Technologies' process is capable of chemically recycling plastic waste. We are determined to reduce the amount of plastic that is either landfilled or incinerated. More than a quarter of the UK's 3.2MT (Million Tonnes) of plastic waste is landfilled because of its contamination with organic material or other plastics. The challenge is to find a way and recover the plastic from this waste stream and reduce the ever-increasing plastic pollution. This project aims to take on this challenge!

Our technology, RT7000 is capable of processing the recovered plastic via thermal cracking into an ultra low sulphur hydrocarbon product branded as Plaxx. Plaxx is a synthetic equivalent of crude oil. It can be used as a low sulphur fuel or chemical feedstock (naphtha) to make new plastics.

Municipal waste at Material Recovery Facilities (MRF), food contaminated plastic packaging waste from Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants and Recovered Plastic Litter (RPL) in water treatment facilities are some of the largest sources of plastic waste.

We can use smart optical sorting techniques to pick up and separate the plastic from streams of waste from a MRF. In doing so, we can divert the plastic away from incineration and reduce its CO2 impact.

Enzyme-based biological cleaning system can be used on AD and RPL waste to break down the organic contamination. In addition to its green and sustainable credentials, enzymatic degradation is relatively cheap and it releases soluble and fermentable sugars that can be re-cycled for other processes.

The technologies (optical and enzyme) can be combined together to give RT the ability to accept a wide variety of contaminated waste into its core technology. Once the contamination is processed using a pre-treatment module, the separated plastic waste can be processed using the RT7000. This combined approach will allow UK to reduce landfilling, increase its recycling rates and develop innovative technologies to handle contaminated plastic waste.

Furthermore, the diversion of each tonne of plastic waste away from Energy from Waste (EfW) plants and converted into Plaxx fuel creates up to 2.5 TCO2e savings. This saving for 7000 tonnes of plastic waste is equivalent to the emissions of more than 3,500 cars every year!!!!!
Effective start/end date1/09/1931/08/21

Collaborative partners

  • University of Bath (lead)
  • Recycling Technologies Ltd
  • Tomra Sorting Ltd
  • Severn Trent GreenPower


  • Innovate UK


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