A SWINDON recycling firm is poised to save the world’s oceans and rivers from the scourge of plastic.

Recycling Technologies, based in South Marston, is set to go into commercial production of its RT7000 machine which transforms plastic films and trays back into oil.

The new manufacturing plant, which officially opens this week, will make 1,300 patented machines before 2027, initially shipping to the UK and Europe, before going international.

The company also has big ambitions to start a second production line in the Far East so the RT7000 can be installed next to polluted rivers, giving local people the chance to exchange harmful plastic for cash.

Adrian Griffiths, CEO and founder of the company, told the Advertiser: “The local problem in these villages is a global issue when you add it all up, but you don’t deal with it by having a global solution, you deal with it by having localised solutions.

“It’s heartbreaking when you see people with plastic and they don’t know what to do with it. And it is just being deposited on the banks of rivers because there is no alternative.

“In countries like Indonesia, it’s not just ending up in landfills, it’s uncontrolled landfill sites eventually ending up in rivers and the sea. The export of plastic abroad – so called recycling – is contributing to plastic in the ocean.

“Our ambition in those scenarios is to locate the machines close enough to villages so they can take the plastic there instead of dumping it in the environment, to change that behaviour by paying for that plastic which up to now has been regarded as useless and a nuisance waste.”

The machine works by breaking down difficult to recycle plastic such as films, plastic trays, and mixed variety plastic containers, into a versatile recycled oil called Plaxx.

The oil can be bought by petrochemical companies to be remade for a variety of uses, making it valuable enough for local people to collect discarded plastic to sell, potentially ending the era of single-use plastic and pollution of oceans and rivers around the world.

The pre-production model of the RT7000 has been based in Swindon Borough Council’s household recycling centre in Cheney Manor, and the first is due to be shipped to Scotland.

“Plastic is a brilliant material, we’ve just got to sort out its recycling at the end of its life,” added Adrian.

“It has a much lower carbon footprint than glass or paper, or metal.

“There’s a big rush to ban plastic, which would be a complete own goal in relation to the environment, which would add to food wastage as well.

“We could potentially have a globally scalable solution which could completely change the story of plastic.”

The company estimates the UK's leftover plastic waste - which is often landfilled, incinerated, or shipped broad - could be done by just 300 of the RT7000s machines, meaning much of the unrecycled plastic in the UK could be turned back to oil in just a few years time.