Plans to treat 50,000 tonnes of soft plastics unveiled

Two companies have this week announced progress in plans to step up the treatment of post-consumer soft plastics.

The 2021 Survey estimates that 75% of PET drinks bottles

Cheshire-based Totus Environmental has signed a forward contract to supply 27,000 tonnes a year of post-consumer plastic to Orthios, the company behind a plastics-to-oil technology.

According to Totus, the material will consist post-consumer soft plastics otherwise destined for SRF or RDF production, such as bags, packaging and plastic films.

Elsewhere, Newcastle-based Impact Recycling says it has developed an automated process that can “accurately separate mono-layer and multi-layer post-consumer flexible plastic film”.

Backed by funding from the Ecosurety Exploration Fund, the company says it has already received interest from major plastic film manufacturers, producers and recyclers looking to incorporate recycled content into their operations.

The company will now look into building a 25,000 tonnes capacity plant.

Totus

The supply agreement between Totus and Orthios will commence once the construction of the former’s plastic to oil facility in Anglesey is operational.  It added that the commissioning material is expected in the “very near future”.

Orthios says its facility provides “a safe, cost effective and clean method of decomposing polymers to obtain an oil”.

Once supplied by Totus, Orthios will “sift out the plastics and process them into a zero-sulphur blending oil and other substitutes for crude oil, which are used in the construction and manufacturing industries”.

Orthios chief executive Sean McCormick added: “By working alongside Totus, we gain a reliable supply of plastics for our ground-breaking Plastics to Oil process while also benefitting from Totus’ exceptional knowledge of the waste management sector and logistics experience. Together we can look forward to playing a significant part in reducing fossil fuel dependency, tackling climate change and building a sustainable, prosperous and carbon-neutral future”.

The Ecosurety Exploration Fund enabled us to successfully take the BOSS-2D technology from lab scale to pilot plant

-David Walsh, chief executive of Impact Recycling

Impact recycling

Meanwhile, Newcastle-based Impact Recycling has claimed it has successfully developed technology that can accurately separate layers in post-consumer flexible plastic film.

According to the company, the ‘BOSS-2D’ technology works by creating eddy currents in water that can separate floating particles of material according to their density, enabling them to be separated.

Impact Recycling claims that the process has succeeded in separating films from batches of mixed post-consumer flexible plastic film to purities of up to 95% at a rate of two tonnes per hour.

The BOSS-2D project began in December 2020 and is fully funded through the Ecosurety Exploration Fund which has pledged to invest £1 million in projects that aim to reduce the environmental impact of packaging.

David Walsh, CEO at Impact Recycling, commented: “The Ecosurety Exploration Fund enabled us to successfully take the BOSS-2D technology from lab scale to pilot plant. This validation of the technology provided the means for an application to Innovate UK for grant funding to build a full scale 25,000 tonne commercial demonstrator plant, the first of its kind for post-consumer flexible plastic.

“All of this has been achieved in less than 12 months; it simply would not have happened without the support of Ecosurety.”

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