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How to take what's left after recycling a rubbish tip and transform it into useful plastic products

Gordon Smith with the waste before and after
Gordon Smith with the
waste before and after
Originally Published 4 September 1998

Even the most advanced recycling techniques fail to recycle every element of the rubbish we generate. Often recyclers are left with an unpleasant pile of dark rank smelling scrap yard shredder waste or "fluff" that refuses to transform into anything intrinsically useful. But now researchers at the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick have found a way of using this unpleasant residue to form the basic structure of everyday plastic containers and components.

Dr Gordon Smith and his team have been using a process called in mould coating to simultaneously mould and "paint" plastic components in one simple quick unified process. Normally they would use an ordinary fresh plastic raw materials for the inside structure of plastic components created by this process but they hit upon the idea that they could also take this waste fluff and seal it inside the coated components, as part of the inner structure, as they were made. The final products can be painted to almost any colour and used in everything from car components to washing up liquid bottles.

For further details contact:

Dr Gordon Smith,
Advanced Technology Centre
Warwick Manufacturing Group,
University of Warwick
Tel: 024 76 523784

Further information about this press release and other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
West Midlands
Tel: 024 76 523708