11 January 2021 by Robyn White

Project Beacon aims for 2021 launch after engineering review

Zero Waste Scotland has completed its engineering review for Project Beacon, which will see three companies form an “advanced plastics reprocessing facility” in Perthshire.

The project is now set to be launched in 2021, “subject to the next stage of the Covid pandemic”, three years after its initial 2018 target.

The Recycling Technologies RT7000 unit, which produces Plaxx from mixed rigid plastic

Project Beacon will see three companies – PI Polymer Recycling, Recycling Technologies and Impact Recycling.-  work together to “chemically recycle” plastics to make new material or other chemical products.

The project has financial support from Zero Waste Scotland of £1.7 million plus a further £1.7 million from the private sector.

Zero Waste Scotland undertook an engineering review in 2019, which it said at the time was “necessary and not unusual” (see letsrecycle.com story). 

This has now been cleared, and Zero Waste Scotland says the plant’s first phase is due to be completed by April.

A spokesperson said: “Zero Waste Scotland is working with partners on Project Beacon, an advanced plastics reprocessing facility located in Perth.  Phase one of Project Beacon is expected to commence early April. Project Beacon will be a key tool in addressing the tide of plastic affecting our eco-systems and make it easier than ever for people to recycle their single-use plastics.”

Target

Recycling Technologies will be behind the RT7000 machine which the company  says will turn unrecyclable plastics such as crisp packets and black plastics back into an oil, which can be used in the shipping industry.

A spokesperson told letsrecycle that facility is now “on target” to be built this year after the engineering review passed “without any problems”. They added that previous plans for a 2020 launch were pushed back due to the pandemic. They added that the 2021 launch is “subjective to the outcomes and next stages of the Covid pandemic”.

Phases

The project will consist of two phases,  the first phase will be a pilot plant launched to take any large rigid plastics including broken toys, crates, plastic pipe, garden furniture and drums.

In the second phase, the project will aim to be accepting all types of plastics collected at the kerbside, and ready to strike deals with Scottish councils to source feedstock material.

Funding

In October 2020, the project received a further £3.1 million grant from UK Research and Innovation to develop chemical recycling methods.

Additionally Recycling Technologies, received a £10  million  investment in March 2020 from Neste, a renewable chemical solutions company, and Mirova, a sustainable finance company, to “accelerate the development of chemical recycling” and “foster the transition to a circular economy for plastic”.

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