Axion Polymers has warned manufacturers that, by condemning ‘unrecyclable’ plastic waste products to energy-from-waste plants or landfill, they risk losing the option to recover raw materials in the future.
The recycling company argues that, while some plastic may be deemed ‘unrecyclable’ today, this may not be the case in the near future, given the rate of progress in resource recovery technology.
Materials such as black trays and post-consumer multi-layer films are currently being locked in to waste disposal systems, suppressing the movement to create new recyclable packaging products.
The development of new technology, that allows existing plastic packaging materials to be captured, sorted and recycled, is also being prevented.
To tackle this, Axion’s Trafford Park-based Shredder Waste Advanced Processing Plant (SWAPP) works to extract plastics from automotive shredder residue (ASR). A few years ago, this plastic was thought to be ‘unrecyclable’.
At the plant, the plastics are turned into recycled polymers, which are suitable for use in new products, such as vehicle components.
Axion Polymers argues that materials which are currently being consigned to landfill or EfW units can be diverted to new recovery processes.
By establishing stronger links between political will, technological developments and demand-led legislative drivers, the company believes that the industry will encourage the creation of new markets for ‘tomorrow’s materials’.
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