Recycling Technologies, Swindon, U,K., has opened opened its second campaign with Crowdcube to raise a minimum of £1.3 million ($1.15 million) as it seeks to build and open its first commercial plant in Scotland. The company conducted its first Crowdcube funding round in February, amassing £3.7 million ($3.26 million), well ahead of its scheduled completion date.
The company says the closure of Asian export markets to scrap plastics, U.K. landfill taxes and public outcry surrounding plastic pollution are encouraging the plastics and packaging industries to increase their use of recycled plastic in packaging and products. The U.K. chancellor’s pledge to tax plastic packaging made with less than 30 percent recycled content and to review the U.K.’s Producer Responsibility System will further stimulate demand for recycling capacity.
Recycling Technologies has developed and patented a plastics recycling machine, the RT7000, that turns plastic scrap into oil called Plaxx from which new plastics can be made. The machine heats up the plastic in the absence of oxygen to break the material down into Plaxx. This process allows the RT7000 to recycle plastics commonly considered unrecyclable, such as plastic film and laminated plastics that include food pouches and crisp packets, according to the company.
The RT7000s are modular, allowing them to be transported and installed within existing waste management facilities where most residual plastics arise. By taking the solution to the problem, financial and environmental costs of transporting residual plastics to an incinerator or landfill are reduced, according to the company.
Recycling Technologies has a pilot plant, the Beta Plant, in Swindon that is processing mixed plastics and producing Plaxx.
The company says its earlier fundraising round has allowed it to open a new 25,000-square-foot assembly facility in Swindon with planned capacity to produce about 200 machines per year; gain planning permission for the first commercial machine to be installed at Binn Ecopark waste site in Perthshire, U.K., in 2019; establish, subject to contract, sales and distribution channels for Plaxx from the first 12 RT7000s; and build a growing pipeline of interest from waste operators in the U.K. and internationally.
“We look forward to welcoming new investors from the Crowdcube community and want to thank all who have supported us so far,” Adrian Griffiths, CEO Recycling Technologies, says. “The company’s approach is commercially attractive. Waste companies in the U.K. are paying around £100 per [metric ton] for the disposal of plastic waste to landfill and incineration. With an RT7000, waste operators can turn this plastic waste liability into a valuable revenue stream from Plaxx estimated to be valued today around £300 per [metric ton.]. These attractive economics are projected to offer machine operators a less than three-year payback.”
Griffiths continues, “The results of the testing of our preproduction Beta Plant in Swindon have been strong and are generating significant levels of interest from waste sites looking to become an early adopter of this commercial solution to turn waste plastic in a valuable asset.”
Robert Langstraat, CEO of InterChem, a Singapore-based company in the petroleum and petrochemical industry and a shareholder in Recycling Technologies, says, “We are delighted with our investment of £1m we made earlier this year in Recycling Technologies. The company is well-placed for its next stage of development to build its first commercial RT7000 and the manufacture of an initial fleet of 12 RT7000s. There is significant interest from chemical companies wanting to buy Plaxx for use as a feedstock in plastic-making processes, and we are excited by the growth opportunities this market offers."
Recycling Technologies says it plans to install capacity to recycle 10 million metric tons of plastic by 2027, producing 7 million metric tons of Plaxx annually to replace fossil oils. This target will more than triple Europe’s current plastic recycling capacity, according to the company, which adds that it plans to employ more than 600 people across its operations by 2026.