Independent organisation Pera Innovation demonstrated through their work that Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) fibres and tapes derived from plastic squash bottles and food trays could be treated and reused to manufacture high value reinforced thermoplastic pipes.

Moreover, the new product had already proved itself to be commercially viable, according to researcher Andy Huang, with preliminary assessments showing that the pipes would cost less than a third than other products currently on the market with the same pressure rating.

“These reinforced plastic pipes could play a major role in the £900 million European market for transmission lines used in the oil and gas industries,” he said. “By creating this new high value market for low value PET waste, the team has provided a great incentive to recycle and reuse the material.”

The research project was funded by the Onyx Environmental Trust, which awarded Pera Innovation with a grant of £152,420 through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.

Margaret Cobbold, general manager of The Onyx Environmental Trust, said the organisation was delighted to see the project yield such promising results for both industry and the environment.

“Pera’s innovative approach to identifying commercial opportunities by recycling materials demonstrates environmentally responsible alternatives available to the engineering industry,” Ms Cobbold stated.

Following the initial proof of concept, Pera Innovation is now seeking further industrial sponsorship in order to develop and demonstrate a full-scale continuous manufacturing facility.

By Jane Kettle

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