Polymer Recovery


The Polymer Recycling project emerged out of our research into the food processing and food retailing industries. All UK food processing companies produce significant quantities of food packaging waste as a bi-product of production and shipping. Food retailers have an even higher ratio of cartons and plastics contained within the product cycle. A briefing priority for the anaerobic process is to quality assure mixed organic waste prior to processing, the removal of all non-organic materials is essential to this. Our industrial consultations made it clear that the recycling of organic waste to energy at competitive market cost is highly attractive to the food industry. But more significantly the recovery and separation of high value polymers adds considerably to the business case and waste minimisation policies of leading food industries. 4% of global oil is used by the food packaging industry. A high proportion of this goes to landfill or incineration, so the pressure on the food industry to do something beneficial is self evident. The challenge of recycling polymers to “biologically clean flake” ready for resale into the recycled plastics market has been addressed. Our small scale industrial plant can run in parallel with the anaerobic facility and is scaled at 5,000 or 10,000 tonnes per annum.