Plastic Recycling and the need to invest in Clean Technology

Posted by Mo Rassolli on Feb 05, 2020 09:09: AM
Mo Rassolli


For more than 100 years, plastic has been a part of our lives, and its use has grown at an alarming pace. Plastic products are quite complex and difficult to recycle. As a result, plastic ends up in our oceans and pollutes our environment. Out of seven types of plastics, two can be recycled that becomes only 9% of the plastic globally.

Why is there a need to invest in plastic recycling?

The UK has heavily relied on China to recycle its plastic waste. Almost two-thirds of the country’s waste was exported to China, and not much was left to recycle. However, in 2018, China changed its policies and banned "foreign garbage” which caused problems for the UK. 


After the ban, British Government started exporting its plastic overseas and incinerated the rest inside the country. However, countries like Malaysia started rejecting these plastic imports due to poor plastic quality. This forced the British Plastic Federation (BPF) to recycle the waste within the country and to start investment in plastic recycling facilities.

How can investors get the benefit?

Businesses in the UK are trying to reduce scarcity of natural resources through plastic recycling. This makes their business sustainable, while reducing input cost. It also allows them to grow significantly in the years to come. As an investor, you should invest in these companies that stood the test of time so it can be beneficial for you as well.

Recycling and lesser waste

Not only the public but the UK government is also putting more pressure on companies to manage their supply chain efficiently and mitigate the damage they are causing to the environment. If the companies devise strategies to evolve their practices, it can provide many more investment opportunities. 

Investment in Clean Technology Startups over the years


Flexible Plastic Packaging

As we have mentioned, only two types of plastics are recyclable that are majorly used in packaging all over the UK. Plastic bags, frozen food bags, and plastic wrappers are the types of flexible plastic packaging. These are either polypropylene (PP) or polyethene (PE). Both are low-density grade plastic, which is robust and flexible in nature. 


£100m Investment needed for plastic recycling

According to a resource recovery specialist, you can recycle flexible plastic packaging, but you need an investment of £100m to make it happen in the UK. As there are inadequate facilities to process the largely-recyclable products, the increase in UK-stalling recycling rate can benefit the environment and economy. 


This investment can be used for two main purposes. Either brand makes their packaging more eco-friendly or establish factories for PP or PE recycle firms as it is the right time for investors to make a decision and invest in any of them. 


How can TrendScout be helpful?

If you are an enthusiastic person who has a fantastic idea to reduce plastic pollution in the country, you will need investment to make your startup a reality. If you are starting on a small-scale, you may not need such a high amount. But for large-scale recycling, you need heavy investment and a solid business plan. 


TrendScout is a platform where you can find an investor that can trust your business plan and see your vision. If your idea has the potential, we will connect you to an investor who will be as passionate in your idea as you. 


If you are an angel investor willing to work in plastic wastage and want to earn as well, TrendScout is a right platform for you. Our team personally researches the business ideas pitched to us and picks a handful of people that have the potential. 

What other clean technology projects need investment?

While plastic waste is one of the biggest problems faced by the UK at the moment, there are some other projects that need investment and can be profitable as well. There are a few people who invest in projects like these due to various uncertainties. However, in recent years, this business has proved much successful with a lower failure rate. 


  • Sustainable transport

The effects of climate change can be observed all over the globe, and the reason is the emission of harmful gasses from transport. Buses, trains, cars are used for the daily commute by people, but unfortunately, the gasses they emit are hazardous for the environment. Thus, it increases the demand for sustainable transport which is a great investment opportunity for all investors. In coming years, there will be electric vehicles that may run on battery technologies with less or no emission of gas. Therefore, it is clear the business has demand in the market, and it will be definitely a success. 


  • Green House

The concept of a greenhouse is not new, it has been there for a long time, but only a few people have thought of investing in the business. Recently, there has been an interest in offshore wind development in the UK. This kind of technology has been lagging in the country, you can take advantage of the situation and invest in any of the mega projects. There are high chances of a profitable business with meagre failure chances. 


What plastic can not be recycled in the UK?


There are some types of plastic which the UK can’t recycle, including kitchen foils, deodorant aerosols, plastic cups, plastic bottle caps, and many more. 


What is the future of plastic recycling? 


Most of the plastic recycled in the UK is polyethene terephthalate (PET) that is used in plastic bottles. Almost 35% of PET bottles are recycled in the UK and it is estimated that this share will reach up to 60% by 2030. 


Why did China stop buying recycling?


In 2018, China banned plastic recycling and stopped buying plastic waste from other countries, including the UK. They believed that the waste they have been receiving from other countries is not clean enough. The waste contains various contaminants that are polluting the land and water of China. 


Which country in the world recycles the most?


Germany is at the top of recycling solid waste with a 68% recycling ratio. 


Where does most of the waste in the UK go?


The most common method of disposal in the UK is landfill. It was estimated that if the government didn’t do much to recycle, there will be a landfill mountain. All the household, commercial and industrial waste which makes 57% of the waste goes to landfill sites. 


Topics: impact investment, environment, green technology