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Odour Contaminated Plastics Get 'Second Life' Thanks To Innovate UK Grant

13th May 2019

Technical knowledge based plastics compounder Luxus has as part of a consortium won an £840,462 Innovate UK grant to develop a novel process to remove retained odour from post-consumer recycled plastics.
The aim of this new 30 month research and development project known as Odour Control, is to employ unique process technologies to deliver high value ‘second life’ applications for odour contaminated plastics, that would otherwise only be adopted for limited low value markets.
Luxus will lead the project in collaboration with its partners the University of Lincoln to provide a ‘test house’ to identify and quantify odour species, Matrix Moulding Systems will help develop the processing system design and injection moulding company, One 51 will produce the finished parts.
Recycled plastics have a ‘scent memory’ from contact with heavily perfumed detergents or food that creates quality issues inhibiting further use. Although some progress has been made to recycle easier post-production waste streams, the recycling of post-consumer polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) still presents a major challenge.
Currently, under 1% of the UK’s 260,000 tonnes of post-consumer polypropylene waste is effectively recycled into high quality products, the rest is used in lower value applications or worse still, left for landfill.
Luxus project manager, Chris Kerridge, comments: “We are pleased that Innovate UK has recognised the importance of developing a process that will allow for the cost efficient reprocessing of polymer that was previously uneconomic to recover due to retained odour.
“We aim to address this challenge by removing retained odour so the waste polymer can be reprocessed for use in high value products in the civil engineering, automotive, horticulture and detergent packaging industries, enabling manufacturers to satisfy sustainability goals.”
This project aims to create a prototype of the process, so Luxus technicians can gain an improved understanding of its ability to cope with the variability in the type and levels of odour compounds that occur in post-consumer polymer, to help underpin its future full scale commercial application.
Once proven this process will provide an economic retrofit solution that requires minimal process equipment modifications, so Luxus and the UK’s many technical plastics compounders who license the technology will benefit from improved competitiveness.
The cost effective exploitation of this waste stream presents therefore, a major opportunity to the recycling industry – the ability to divert 25,000 tonnes of waste polymer each year. This recycled material would replace virgin polymer, with an estimated net saving of 1 tonne of CO2 per tonne of polymer recovered.
Chris Kerridge, continues: “With Defra’s new Resources and Waste Strategy for England, there is also a major shift in focus now towards resources rather than wastes. The aim is to help manufacturers progress to a circular economy that keeps resources in use for longer, so the need for innovative solutions for the processing of odour contaminated plastics has never been greater.”

For further information please contact Sasha Stewart at Straight Talk PR – email: 
Luxus Ltd  (@Luxusltd)
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for over 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
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Luxus Shows Next Generation Sustainable Thermoplastic (PP) Lightweight Materials At Auto Interior Expo 2015
~~16th June 2015

UK based technical compounder and recycler Luxus, will be showing on stand (A5126) the progress it’s made on the road towards delivering next generation lightweight and sustainable materials to drive tomorrow’s auto interior innovation - the result is Hycolene™ a new sustainable lightweight thermoplastic (PP) range.

Luxus has as part of a consortium recently secured €1.4m investment co-funded by the Eco-innovation initiative of the EU for its Recyclite project ( The aim is to commercialise the development of its Hycolene range of lightweight (PP) compounds with up to 60 per cent recycled content to target’s Europe’s class ‘A’ automotive interior trim market.

Luxus will be collaborating on the commercialisation project with twin screw manufacturer Coperion to help with complex processing, tier 1 moulding supplier IAC for materials trials and Jaguar Land Rover. The automotive manufacturer will be providing end user guidance on the project to ensure the technical requirements are met, allowing exploitation of this technology across future automotive industry applications.

Robert Crow, Group Leader , Materials Innovation at Jaguar Land Rover described the Recyclite project as, “A ‘double win’ because the use of recycled material and lower weight of the compounds are both beneficial in Jaguar Land Rover’s programme for reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles.”

Project Manager, Dr Christel Croft at Luxus will be presenting a seminar on the Recyclite project as part of the Interiors Innovation and Design Forum, ‘High performance lightweight recycled polypropylene materials for tomorrow’s auto interiors’ at 11.45am, on Thursday 18th June 2015 at the Auto Interiors Expo 2015.

The key technical benefits of the Hycolene range are as follows:

• Significant weight reduction - up to 12% per part
• Increased recycled content – up to 60% per part
• Excellent stiffness/impact balance and improved scratch resistance
• Similar dimensions – a drop-in solution and colour matching

Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus explains: “We are pleased that the commercial potential of our Hycolene range has been recognised by the EU. This investment has enable us to effectively make a fundamental step change in our technology as we aim to replace our filled compounds with next generation reinforcing additives.

“These additives offer excellent tensile properties that don’t detract from the appearance of the moulded compound, yet their adoption reduces weight by up to 12 per cent per part and significantly improves scratch resistance to meet industry standards.

“The new grades will also offer a lower density than is currently provided, while still delivering up to 60 per cent recycled PP. The result of all this is that tier 1 moulding suppliers will be able to produce more parts per tonne of the mineral as they will benefit from a much faster cycle time. This will offset the slightly higher price these new advanced grades will require.”

Luxus is preparing a patent application for the new advanced polymer technology process. Its capacity however, to produce these compounds will be limited by access to local sources of recyclate PP. So in the future it intends to license its IP of formulations and knowledge to other selected compounders in the EU who have access source assured PP recyclate locally.

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Staff and Managing Director, Peter Atterby at Louth based plastics compounder and recycler Luxus, recently presented a cheque for £500 to St Andrew’s Hospice representative, Lucy Wood.
The Grimsby based charity cares for people with life limiting illnesses in North East Lincolnshire ( The funds were raised by staff thanks to a raffle held at the company’s 50th anniversary celebration at the Best Western Oaklands Hall Hotel in Laceby, Lincolnshire earlier this year.
Sarah Coggle, sales office manager, Luxus, explains: "We decided to do something for a local charity and St Andrew's Hospice was chosen by a colleague who has had some involvement with them. The charity was a popular choice and the raffle went down very well, especially the prize of a day off work.
"We'd also like to thank the local businesses who donated prizes. There were many good items on offer, including a meat voucher and a bike donated by J C Cook. We would also like to say thank you to our staff for their support. The hospice touches so many people's lives; it is such a vital facility."

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