Enquiry about circular recycling opportunities for plastics

Nature of Request
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Date received

Please can you look into recycling technologies (recycling technologies.co.uk based in Swindon) as they have a process converting all waste plastic (non mechanical recycling) into oil to be made into plastic - circular recycling.

Please can you look into this and get back to us with information about its viability.


Response date

Dear x,

Thank you for your enquiry.

NLWA is aware of chemical recycling companies including Recycling Technologies Ltd, who manufacture equipment which can ‘crack’ polymers into oil and other products. Whilst the products resulting from the process can be suitable for recycling back into new polymers, there is not yet an established market for recycling these products into new plastic. In the absence of a market for the product, it is likely – within the waste hierarchy - that the next most productive use of the oil will be to process it into fuel. This would not bring environmental benefits compared with converting it into fuel through an energy from waste facility.

There are ongoing trials to establish this technology, some examples of which have recently been funded by UKRI and are summarised here: https://www.ukri.org/news/ukri-funding-puts-uk-at-the-forefront-of-plastic-recycling/#:~:text=UK%20Research%20and%20Innovation%20(UKRI,reduce%20landfill%20and%20incineration&text=expand%20the%20range%20of%20plastics%20being%20recycled.

The Authority and our recycling contractor, Biffa Waste Services Ltd, are constantly reviewing technology developments which offer opportunities to increase recycling, and we are keeping chemical recycling developments under close review.

We will include anonymised details of this information request and our response in our scheme of publication on our website so it is freely available to all. See: https://www.nlwa.gov.uk/ourauthority/scheme-of-publications