Cranfield University; Recycling Technologies, a specialist plastic recycling technology provider; and Birmingham and Surrey Universities have received backing from Innovate UK’s Smart ‘open grant funding programme’ for a £1.2m project to enhance and improve the efficiency of chemical recycling technology in the UK.

The research project aims to further develop and enhance the RT7000, a machine manufactured by Recycling Technologies which converts waste plastics into Plaxx®, a recycled feedstock which can be used to manufacture new plastic. The parties will work together on developing an online monitoring system which will predict and control Plaxx® quality based on input composition and process conditions. This collaboration will result in reduced running costs and improved efficiency for the RT7000 and, in turn, will speed up the development of commercial chemical recycling benefiting the environment by reducing the need to incinerate, bury or export residual plastic waste.

Cranfield, Birmingham and Surrey Universities have been individually working with Recycling Technologies on its cutting-edge technology. This project will bring together their expertise and skills to accelerate a solution which will help solve one of the biggest global problems and ensure a more sustainable future for the planet.

Marvine Besong, Technical Director at Recycling Technologies, said: “Recycling Technologies is delighted to have received this grant from Innovate UK’s far-sighted Smart programme to invest in the best game-changing, commercially-viable and innovative disruptive ideas. Our collaboration with these leading UK universities with a long track record of successful engineering research and development will fast-track our mission to accelerate the evolution of waste plastic into a more sustainable material.” 

Joy Sumner, Senior Lecturer in Energy Materials at Cranfield University, said: “This is a fantastic chance to bring Cranfield’s materials degradation know-how to practical application, helping Recycling Technologies as they design and construct plant for recycling plastics into usable products.”

Gary Leeke, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, said: “Birmingham has been working in the chemical recycling of plastics for the past nine years. A team of academics and researchers is excited to support the development of Recycling Technologies' commercial chemical recycling plant. The team involves academics from Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy and Materials who are working with the wider project team to control the quality of the Plaxx product and improve plant efficiency. Technology development of this kind is key to supporting the transition from a linear to a circular economy for plastic waste.”

Professor Rex Thorpe of the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Surrey, said: “I have been pleased to support this company in its goal to create a process that turns plastic waste into a valuable feedstock for the future chemical industry. This grant enables me to spend more time and resources on that support.”


Notes for editors

About Recycling Technologies

UK-based company, Recycling Technologies, is on a mission to accelerate the evolution of plastic into a more sustainable material. Currently, 88% of the plastic used in the world is either buried, burned or leaked into the environment1. This means that the world recycles only 12% of the 359 million tons of plastic produced each year2. Recycling Technologies has developed an innovative technology, the RT7000, which turns hard-to-recycle plastic such as films, bags, laminated plastics into an oil, called Plaxx®, used as a feedstock for new plastic production. The RT7000 is modular and small-scale, designed to fit easily onto existing waste treatment and recycling sites, providing a scalable solution to recycle waste plastic anywhere in the world. For further information, please visit

1. McKinsey&Co – How plastics-waste recycling could transform the chemical industry

2. Plastics Europe – Plastics the facts 2019