Find out what happened when UKCPN hosted a networking area at RWM 2019

Posted on Posted on 9 Oct 2019

UKCPN hosted a networking area at RWM last month in Birmingham. Find out about the exhibitors and how the event went in our write-up below.

Recycling & Waste Management took place 11th and 12th September at the NEC in Birmingham, with UK Circular Plastics Network occupying our own networking area.


The free to attend event is the UK’s largest Recycling & Waste Management Exhibition and provided a platform for showcasing the innovations that are shaping the future of sustainability. RWM hosted 500 exhibitors, 22,000 visitors, 350 seminars and 30 panel sessions.


The event provided us with a fantastic opportunity to explain to people the benefits of joining the network and how their businesses can profit from reducing plastic waste. In addition to the information we provided on UKCPN and the networking opportunities, visitors to our stand were able to learn about the work of KTN & Innovate UK. We also found that were was a lot of interest in MRE 2020. We were additionally able to divulge the list of academic projects funded under the Plastics Research & Innovation Fund – you can view the full list of these here.



The panel debates at RWM granted delegates the opportunity to hear from speakers on topics ranging from equality and diversity in the resources industry to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and from the effects of digitisation on business performance to using procurement to improve business performance. There were hundreds of highlights amongst the exhibitors, but a few really caught the eye. Johnston Sweepers, WasteCare, Romaquip, and Astute Technical Recruitment all showcased some of the best products from new street sweepers to recycling vehicles, a double decker bus, to an elephant made out of used batteries.


The seminars at RWM also provided a great chance to hear from individuals moulding the industry and revolutionising the manner in which recycling and waste organisations are becoming more sustainable. There were speakers from internationally renowned organisations such as: NASA, Procter & Gamble, SUEZ, and Costa Coffee represented at RWM 2019; covering topics affecting the recycling and waste management industry every day.


Seminar highlights included Innovate UK’s Nick Cliffe, who gave an overview of government funding from UKRI including the new £60 million ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Programme – a Challenge which is relevant to companies working on the following themes: material, design, technology and business model development. Nick gave an introduction to the 4 ISCF Grand Challenges, with a particular focus on Clean Growth – he spelt out Innovate’s mission to support organisations working towards greater sustainability. Citing the Unpackaged trial in Waitrose as a great example of innovation in promoting greater circular economy, Nick reiterated that the problem is not plastics themselves, but how we deal with them. Nick explained that the best place to keep up to date with news on the SSPP challenge is by signing up for free to join UKCPN, through our dissemination of news and events. The previous day Gev Eduljee, Director of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, discussed the challenge in detail. 


Jeremy Paxman gave the keynote seminar on day 2 of RWM as patron of Clean Up Britain. focussing on the nation’s problem with litter and how we address this. He discussed the power of digital campaigns in reducing rates of littering in the UK and more specifically the impact of utilising imagery of animals in dissuading people from littering. He highlighted that we need to change people’s behaviour and attitudes to litter to make a difference, a sentiment that we echo at UKCPN when trying to change people’s attitudes to plastic waste.


The UKCPN networking area at RWM was occupied by the following businesses:

Blue Castle Group – a leading consultancy in sustainable business solutions, who have spent years creating their unique PVC Banner Recycling Scheme

Blue Green Vision Ltd – organisation which provides devices for high speed, non-contact, non-destructive identification of different types of plastics.

Colour Tone Masterbatch Ltd – since 2010 they have pioneered the development of sustainable plastic colouring solutions for end of life polymer identification by near infra-red sorting.

CRALEY Group – have created a new, cost-effective, rapid install and green approach to pipe re-lining, using a multi-layered pre-cursor.

Impact Solutions – have adopted an innovative approach to plastic recycling through their Innovate UK funded POLYMET project, which offers a solution for removing colour from plastic.

In-Cycle Ltd. – At RWM In-Cycle showcased their ‘Closed Loop Innovation in Fused Filament Fabrication’ project (CLIFFF) which aims to enable industry and academic 3D print farms and service bureaus to reprocess discarded 3D-prints back into high value new 3D-printing filaments.

Interface Polymers Ltd – Interface have developed a new generation of additive technology that compatabilises and improves processing of mixed plastic waste so that it can be recycled.

Sky Ocean Ventures – media-powered impact investment company investing in early stage companies to accelerate alternatives to the single use plastic crisis affecting our oceans.

Topolytics – A ‘Smart Grid for Waste’, Topolytics aggregate data on the world’s industrial and commercial waste and use data science, machine learning and mapping to drive better commercial and environmental outcomes for this material.


You can view our brochure from the day by clicking here


Overall the event provided a fantastic platform for UKCPN and the exhibitors at our networking stand to explain our offering to delegates. The dates have been confirmed for next year as Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th of September 2020, again at the NEC Birmingham, so make sure you order your free tickets and book the time off!

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