Recycling Technologies enters administration

One of the UK’s most prominent chemical recyclers has entered administration. In a statement issued this morning, London-based financial advisers Interpath Advisory said it had been appointed administrators to Recycling Technologies yesterday (26 September).

Recycling Technologies was behind the ‘RT7000' machine which it said could turn plastics into oil, and was backed by Zero Waste Scotland

This follows Recycling Technologies’ “unsuccessful” process to seek additional investment.

Chemical recycling technologies are generally seen as having a part to play in the recycling of plastics although projects have in the past been slow to develop. There has also been claims that mechanical recycling of plastics is a better solution (see below for Zero Waste Europe report).

Plaxx

Recycling Technologies is behind a machine which the company claimed could turn unrecyclable plastics such as crisp packets and black plastics back into an oil – Plaxx – which could be used in the shipping industry.

The group has headquarters, a manufacturing facility and a pilot plant in Swindon, with an additional site in Perthshire, Scotland.

Funding

Adrian Griffiths, founder of Recycling Technologies, stood down from the company in April 2022

Recycling Technologies was given £2 million by Zero Waste Scotland and had also struck deals worth £65 million for the forward sale of oil from its machine (see letsrecycle.com story).

It was also backed by Swindon borough council and generated upwards of £10 million via grants and investment rounds, but the project was hit by a string of delays after originally planning to have a machine operational in Scotland in 2018.

The company also featured on the One Show on the BBC in 2018 and hosted a string of MPs at its sites.

Recycling Technologies was due to float on the stock market in 2021, but these plans were later ditched. The company’s director, Adrian Griffiths, then resigned in April 2022 for “personal reasons”.

Gary Bullard remains listed as director on Companies House, along with Simon Dent and Ravish Jain.

Administration

Operations ceased immediately upon the appointment of the joint administrators, Interpath Advisory’s Nick Holloway and Will Wright.

Gary Bullard remains listed as director of Recycling Technologies

“Regrettably, the majority of the group’s 73 employees have been made redundant, with a small number retained to assist the joint administrators with the closing down of its sites,” the administrators said.

Mr Holloway, who is Interpath Advisory’s managing director, said: “Our immediate priority is to assist those members of staff who have been made redundant, providing them with the support and information they need to make claims to the redundancy payments device.

“We will also be looking to realise the assets of the business and its intellectual property and would encourage any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

Study

The news of the administrator’s appointment comes on the same day as a study commissioned by Zero Waste Europe claimed that greenhouse gas emissions from mechanical recycling are lower than those from chemical recycling by a factor of nine.

The report, titled ‘Climate impact of pyrolysis of waste plastic packaging in comparison with reuse and mechanical recycling’, is based on the estimated future recycling content targets in plastic packaging.

The report found that pyrolysis emissions are nine times higher than those in mechanical recycling. In seven scenarios looking at how recycled content targets could be achieved by 2030, more than 75% of greenhouse gas emissions were said to be attributable to chemical recycling.

Zero Waste Europe includes 32 members across 28 countries. In the UK, its members include the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), which describes itself as a network of anti-incineration campaign groups.

The report can be found here.

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