15th March 2018

Interview: Blue Planet Spurs Private Sector Interest in Plastic Recycling Technology

Featured image for Interview: Blue Planet Spurs Private Sector Interest in Plastic Recycling Technology

Recycling Technologies’ CEO Adrian Griffiths was interviewed by Clean Energy Pipeline. Read the full piece below:

BBC wildlife programme Blue Planet Two has done wonders since first airing to push the environmentalism agenda, even going so far as being name checked in Parliament.

The sheer scale of plastic waste that is polluting the world’s oceans and does untold harms to the surrounding sea life has particularly taken viewers aback.

Ahead of global recycling day on March 18, Clean Energy Pipeline spoke to Adrian Griffiths, CEO of Recycling Technologies, on how the BBC programme had spurred support (financial and ethical) for the UK company, as well as it’s long-term goals for its plastic recycling technology.

“Everybody has seen Blue Planet and everybody is talking about plastic,” Griffiths said.

“People all recognise that not only do they need to reduce the use of plastic where it has no real value, but they need to be able to recycle more where it has appropriate use.

“We’ve got councils and waste operators constantly coming to us now, and the demand for the machines is faster than we can almost get out, because they want to recycle more and they want to reduce their costs.”

Taking plastic full circle

With a nod to the circular economy, Recycling Technologies’ method involves processing end of life plastic or residual waste plastic back into an oil called Plaxx, that in turn can be used to become more plastic.

“The fundamental process is done via a machine (RT7000), and I use the word machine carefully, because it is a unit that can be mass-produced and then transported to waste sites around the world, avoiding the need to transport waste plastic to centralised facilities.

“Instead of trying to turn a waste site into a [plastic processing plant], we’re simply supplying a machine into existing facilities for them to operate as another string to their bow.

“Plastic is a fantastic material, and I hope that fact doesn’t get lost in the debate about plastic.”

Attracting investors

Private sector interest is coming to Recycling Technologies from a variety of sectors.

Only last week, global petrochemicals company InterChem made a £1 million equity investment into the UK company, adding to Recyling Technologies’ ongoing Series A fundraise.

“The InterChem investment was strategic on their part because their business is the petrochemical and hydrocarbon market.

“We’re delighted to have those guys on board as they have a wide array of clients that use this type of material (Plaxx) in their process. They are already supplying this material from other sources so now we can provide them a material that has been recycled.”

Recycling Technologies’ Series A fundraise is being undertaken on the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, and is so far halfway through its lifecycle.

He continued: “The crowdcube fundraising is part one of our Series A funding strategy. EIS investments are financially very attractive for individual investors, and we’ve been particularly keen to bring in a large number of individual investors.

“Now we’re moving into April and a new tax year. The UK government has extended the EIS limits, and so we’ll be able to re-open the round and take in more money to complete that Series A funding.”

Future of plastic

In the medium-term, Griffiths said Recycling Technologies would focus on the UK, and then Netherlands, before eyeing the vast array of potential markets overseas. “2027 is our big number,” Griffiths said of the company’s long-term goals.

“We want to see seven million tonnes of Plaxx production in place by 2027, and that will involve recycling ten million tonnes of plastic into seven million tonnes of Plaxx.

“That sounds like a very big number, but that means we have to get up to 200 machines per year.

“It’ll take us a few years to get to that point, but once we do we’ll be able to produce 1,300 machines in that ten-year period, and that will make a very big difference to plastic in the world.”

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