RECYCLING Technologies has been handed a £3.1 million grant in its drive to reduce the amount of wasted plastic.

The South Marston-based firm will use the funds on a project it is working on alongside Neste and Unilever.

Its aim is to tackle plastics which are difficult to recycle a this three-tiered project.

Recycling Technologies, which received the grant from UK Research and Innovation, will take waste plastic packaging and process it using its revolutionary machinery to turn it into an oil called Plaxx.

This will then be delivered to Neste to analyse and test its quality and suitability for the production of a new, virgin-quality plastics, such as plastic packaging.

And Unilever will bring expertise on the design for packaging.

Founder and chief executive of Recycling Technologies Adrian Griffiths said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from UKRI to move the UK to the forefront of the next generation of plastic recycling systems.

“Our collaboration with Neste will allow us to refine and improve our technology to produce valuable feedstock from waste plastic that can be incorporated into the petrochemicals industry supply chain to increase the content of recycled plastic in new plastic production.

“Our work with Unilever will identify hard-to-recycle plastics from current mechanical recyclers and how to evolve their design construction to improve their recyclability, ensuring compatibility with Recycling Technologies’ chemical recycling process, for incorporation into new packaging.”

The £3.1 million grant will support and refine the testing and any improvement of Recycling Technologies’ chemical recycling plant, which is currently being built at Binn Farm in Perthshire, Scotland.

Hard-to-recycle waste plastic materials – such as films, sachets and pouches – will be broken down to help create new packaging.

Executive vice president of Unilever UK and Ireland Sebastian Munden said: “We’re really pleased to be part of this collaboration with Recycling Technologies and Neste, developing a solution for plastic which is currently difficult to recycle, including plastic films and flexible packaging.

“As part of this collaboration, we’ve committed to looking at the design of our products for greater recyclability, as well as the possibility to use the recycled material back in our product packaging, which would create the end market and value for the materials.

“Unilever is committed to halving the amount of virgin plastic we use in our packaging by 2025, including increasing our use of recycled plastic.

"Collaboration between partners and industry experts is so important, as together we can develop solutions with innovations that are effective and scalable."