UK company investing in plastic recycling in Arabian Peninsula

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UK recycling technology company Ocean Polymers has entered into a partnership with local players in the Arabian Peninsula to invest in technology and recycling infrastructure in the region and prevent plastic waste products from leaking into the ocean.  

The Ocean Polymers technology, which according to CEO Paul Rodger, has been under development for 10 years, can separate, decontaminate and extract hydrogen and syngas, as well as other valuable by-products.

The technology to be employed in the Arabian Peninsula is a tried-and-tested system used by the US military. 

“Waste operators in the [Persian] Gulf are looking for attractive alternatives to landfill and incineration of mixed plastics, which today costs them to dispose of. Our machine enables waste site operators to turn this plastic waste liability into a revenue stream not an expense,” Rodgers added.

Whilst the precise details of the system and process are confidential between the company and its working partners, the plasma technology used is a combination of the company’s existing engineering from North America and Europe. 

Once fully operational, the payback period of the system is estimated to be less than two years.

According to Ocean Polymers, a similar methodology for waste processing is currently employed by both the US Navy and US Air Force.

The process allows for the hydrogen and valuable bi-products to be collected and stored and sold back to the global market – something that Ocean Polymers says is a “first” in the Middle East.

In the Arabian Peninsula, the company is planning to work with leading businesses and government authorities in the region to overcome the issue of plastic litter.

“We look forward to working with all the stakeholders in the GCC who are committed to cleaning the Arabian Peninsula of the mass of plastic waste threatening both the economy and environment now and in the future,” the CEO added.

Ocean Polymers claims that its land-based systems can process other forms of waste, from hospitals, hazardous toxic sludge and oil refining residues which are currently put in landfill sites.

Plastics News Europe understands that the project in Saudi Arabia involves mostly land-based systems and perhaps one ship-based one for the coastal areas in the Eastern Province, where all the oil terminals and refineries are located.

Based-in Soulbury, Buckinghamshire, the recycling technology company is currently in discussions with a number of international angel funds and foundations to secure capital investment and financing of the ship and land-based systems used to collect plastic waste.

The company is also starting a crowdfunding campaign this week to proceed with its long-term programme, which includes investment in regions previously thought to be inaccessible or of limited economic value.

With the growing economies across the Middle East, demand for more consumer-packaged goods is on the rise.

However, according to Ocean Polymers, the development of waste management infrastructure has not kept pace with the increased amount of waste that is being generated.

Citing scientists’ estimate, the company claims that more than half of the 8 million tonnes of plastic that flow into the oceans every year come from developing countries where waste management has lagged rapid economic growth.

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