The best solution is one that meets the agenda of a circular economy and is economically viable.
A report released by the World Economic Forum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey, entitled the New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics, has warned that by 2050, oceans are expected to contain more plastic than fish (by weight) if the plastics value chain doesn’t change its current modus operandi.
Given projected growth in consumption, the plastics industry is expected to consume 20% of total oil production and 15% of the annual carbon budget.
“In this context, an opportunity beckons for the plastics value chain to deliver better system-wide economic and environmental outcomes, while continuing to harness the benefits of plastic packaging,” said Adrian Griffiths, CEO, Recycling Technologies, which collaborated in the report. “The report envisages a new approach based on creating effective after-use pathways for plastics; drastically reducing leakage of plastics into natural systems, in particular oceans; and decoupling plastics from fossil feedstocks.”
The carbon footprint of the Recycling Technologies process is significantly lower than current methods of disposal: not only does the production of Plaxx displace HFO, it avoids sending End-of-Life Plastic to landfill or Energy from Waste. The modular design means it can be situated on existing waste facilities, thus eliminating the need for transport of low density plastic waste.
Plaxx also has significantly lower sulphur content (< 0.1%) in comparison to traditional fuel oils (as high as 1%). Currently, approximately 2.8mt of End-of-Life Plastic is disposed of to landfill/EfW in the UK alone; if just 5% of this were to be processed by a network of RT7000s, the current industrial HFO demand in the UK could be displaced. Plaxx is currently a competitively priced alternative to HFO, even with reduced gate fees for the End-of-Life Plastic feedstock. With mass manufacture this will improve further as capital costs reduce.