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BioVale SME Spotlight: Addible

York based Addible have developed new innovation to clean up waste plastic and overcome one of the major barriers to solving the plastic pollution crisis.

Plastics are used on an enormous scale globally but their end-of-life remains problematic. Currently, plastic is discarded in landfill, where it often ends up in oceans and waterways. Increasing amounts of plastic are also incinerated and whilst some energy can be gained, valuable resources are wasted via this process. Some plastic is recycled by mechanical processes, which can be effective for some pure waste streams; however, complex mixtures of waste streams that contain more than one type of material, such as paper, foil, or additional plastic layers, cannot be recycled in this way.

The “elephant in the room”, of the complexity of plastics recycling, is additives. Additives serve very important functions, adding flexibility, stability, colour, and texture to what would otherwise be a clear, brittle material with limited properties. Waste plastic can come from many different sources and therefore an unpredictable mixture of additives are present in the recyclate. Consequently, the properties of these recycled plastics are unpredictable and often unsuitable for reuse in the application they were initially used in.

In the Addible process, foils, papers, and different types of plastic are separated from each other and additives are then removed by treating them with sustainable solvents. The resulting product is a clean stream of recycled foil, paper, or polymer, with the recycled polymer possessing properties close to that of virgin material. The pure recyclate can be re-extruded into high-quality pellets and reused many times in applications previously unattainable by recycled plastic.

As a start-up Addible has built upon years of experience in the field of Green Chemistry. Between them, the team have published nearly 650 academic papers, attracting in excess of 20,000 citations, as well as being named inventors on 25 patents. Combining their experience in both the academic and industrial sectors, Addible is developing technology to increase the recyclability of hard-to-recycle and complex materials, such as plastics, to help clients bring sustainable products to market.

Fergal Byrne, Co Founder Addible, will speaking at the biobased innovations showcase at CHEMUK Expo 2022.

Addible have benefitted from one-to-one introductions made by BioVale and also through the Biorenewables Development Centre’s pre-funded ERDF business assist programme, through which Addible will join BioVale on a trade mission to the CHEMUK Expo 2022. At the Expo, Addible will exhibit in the Bio-based Chemicals & Processing Innovations zone as well as participating in BioVale’s dedicated session for biobased entrepreneurs’ on the 12th May.

For more information about Addible Ltd visit their website: https://www.addible.co.uk/