Cash for plastic

Bioplastech, A plastic recycling company spun out from UCD which first featured in Innovation in 2008, has secured new funding from the EU, and from a number of foreign investors, to build a pilot plant in Dublin. The finance raised “amounts to seven figures”, said founder Dr Kevin O’Connor, who hopes to have the plant up and running by July.

The pilot plant will run for 18 months to evaluate and optimise the recycling process, which uses bacteria and pyrolisis to convert waste plastic into biodegradable, high-grade plastic. The aim is to recycle about 45 tonnes during the trial period; a full-scale plant would have a capacity of about 50,000 tonnes a year.

Plastic made from non-recycled material is becoming more expensive in line with rising oil prices, so users of recycled plastic save money and reduce waste. The US plastics market alone is worth $300 billion a year and it is expected recycled plastic could eventually take 25% of the market from conventional producers in the US and Europe.

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