Sustainable Innovation Fund - Impact Recycling

Posted on Posted on 25 Nov 2021

Find out more about Impact Recycling, a recipient of UKRI's Sustainable Innovation Fund for adaption of their existing recycling technology, BOSS.

Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund and Covid-19 Continuity Grant competitions have funded over 1800 projects to facilitate sustainable economic recovery from Covid-19. Innovate UK KTN is leading on a programme of support for the funded projects to drive collaboration with industry and new partners to build better innovation communities, support adoption and diffusion, and maximise the impact of this funding.

Innovate UK KTN is backing the bright ideas that put biodiversity, the climate, and sustainability first to help make the UK economy clean, green, and resilient. From edible and compostable ice-cream tubs to emission-neutralising nose guards for cows, Innovate UK has funded projects working across sectors to help change the world. Innovate UK KTN is now helping these projects think beyond the funding to maximise the impact of their innovation.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund included three rounds of funding and a specific competition focused on Small Business Research. Businesses working on innovative projects across a variety of technologies, markets, and regions accessed the funding. The portfolio focuses on companies tackling Covid-19 recovery, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion and Net Zero.

One such recipient is Impact Recycling with their sustainable solution to recycling post-consumer plastics, which you can find out about below:

Only 15% of plastic is recycled today. This primarily consists of plastic bottles as they are easy for machines to identify and sort due to their standardised shape and colour. Unfortunately, many non-standard plastics cannot be sorted so easily, particularly black or dark plastics which make up an estimated 30% of all post-consumer plastics. The good news is that progress is being made with the Baffled Oscillation Separation System, or BOSS, developed by David Walsh and his team at Impact Recycling. The water-based density separation system sorts plastics exclusively on properties, rather than other variables. Initially designed for sorting rigid plastics, Impact Recycling is now transforming its BOSS 3D technology into a 2D system for sorting flexible plastics.

With support from the Sustainable Innovation Fund, Impact Recycling has been able to fund essential research and development for its new BOSS 2D technology. The team hopes to bring the innovative system to plants all across the globe, saving the equivalent of 4.2 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of plastic recovered.

The Sustainable Innovation Fund will allow for the development and expansion of Impact Recycling’s project to adapt their existing recycling technology, BOSS, but for medical waste. Impact Recycling’s BOSS 2-D technology takes into account the forces acting on film to produce a new blade stack and shell to separate post-consumer flexibles. The  first technical goal is removing laminate & multilayer film from “prime” polyolefin film.

The UK Circular Plastics Network facilitated a free stand for Impact Recycling at RWM Exhibition (pictured), where they showcased their BOSS 2D machine which separates PP and PE film using dissimilar densities.

Find out more about the Sustainable Innovation Fund here.

Find out more about the businesses and people building a greener, fairer, and more resilient future for the UK by watching Innovate UK KTN’s collection of SIF stories here.

Find out more about Impact Recycling here.

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