In what is being billed as a ‘world first’, a new facility in Co. Laois, Ireland, has started commercial processing of waste plastic into a virgin wax product.
Operated by Trifol, the plant has been supported by a €12m injection of capital led by investment company Towerview.
According to company information, the EnviroWax product removes 1.5 tonnes of plastic waste for each tonne of collected wax product.
The company plans to concentrate on reprocessing HDPE, LDPE and PP.
The wax product can be used in a series of commercial sectors, including cosmetics, packaging and some food items. Other applications include production of synthetic lubricants.
In an interview with RTE News, Patrick Alley, founder and chairman of Trifol, said: “We have invested just over €4m to get to Phase 1. Phase 1 will produce approximately 3,500 tonnes per annum.”
Alley added that Phase 2 could see output capacity tripled to 10,500 tonnes per annum.
To produce the wax, the plastic waste is heated in a pyrolytic process and that gassified residue is collected to become the wax. The process was developed by Trifol and Queen’s University in Belfast.
The Trifol plant currently employs 40 people, but that figure is expected to grow as output capacity is increased.