Utilising material with no existing end market

Innovating high-performance materials in Wales

WRAP’s innovative supply chain trials work with businesses in Wales to increase the use of recycled material in products and ensure these products can be recycled.

Funded by Welsh Government, WRAP and multiple supply chain project partners aim to drive market confidence in using post-consumer recycled materials in products already on the market by demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of doing so.

Innovating high-performance materials in Wales

Nextek, a consultancy that provides innovative, science-based solutions that address plastics recycling challenges, are leading a project with partners Fiberight, Ecodeck, MBA and European Metals Recycling (EMR) to demonstrate that waste plastic materials with no existing end-market can be used in high-performance products.

By utilising materials with no existing end-market, we are demonstrating the high value outlets for what is currently considered low value waste, supporting the Welsh Government's ambitious recycling targets.

Recently, WRAP visited Fiberight's facility near Gowerton, Swansea, to witness their unique HYDRACYCLE process. This innovative resource recovery and valorisation system uses water to clean and segregate waste materials, diverting them from incineration or landfill. The team also visited the EMR facility in Cardiff to see how end-of-life vehicles are recycled and valuable polymers are extracted. The polymers are then sent to MBA for further processing.

As part of our project, we are trialling the usage of Fiberight's mixed film and fibre outputs in the manufacture of composite decking products. By incorporating these outputs along with materials salvaged from end-of-life vehicles, we aim to displace the usage of imported wood fibre while maintaining the aesthetics and market appeal of the product.

Additionally, we are exploring the potential of an intensive washing process to further clean the Fiberight film material. This part of the project seeks to understand whether this additional cleaning step would result in material of a higher value. This opens up opportunities for its use as a feedstock material, reducing our reliance on virgin material in the manufacture of film such as mulch and silage wrap and diverting it from landfill or energy-from-waste.

Stay tuned for further updates on our journey toward a more sustainable future.