$2 million prize for recycled plastic design challenge

A new design challenge supported by Dame Ellen MacArthur and the Prince of Wales asks innovators to come up with solutions to combat plastic waste.

The prize is made up of two $1 million challenges, one aimed at product designers to make small plastic packaging easier to reuse or recycle and another aimed at materials scientists that aims to make plastic materials more recyclable.

At present, only about 14 per cent of plastic packaging is recycled. Must of the rest winds up in landfill, or worse in sensitive environments like the nation’s oceans.

Much of the driving inspiration for the recycling challenge comes from Dame Ellen MacArthur, who is dedicated to the idea of a circular economy – where products and resources are mostly used and re-used instead of being wasted.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s $1 million Circular Design Challenge aims to stop small plastic packaging like shampoo sachets, wrappers, straws and coffee cup lids from ending up in the oceans.

The $1 million Circular Materials Challenge asks materials scientists, entrepreneurs and anyone else who has a good idea to think of ways to make all plastic packaging recyclable. Many food wrappers and crisp packets, for example, are made from layers of different materials that are fused together.

Although these kinds of materials serve a good purpose insofar as they keep food fresher for longer, they also make this kind of packaging much harder to recycle.

If you think you want to tackle the challenge then this list of recycling ‘villains’ drafted by the Recycling Association might provide some inspiration or a starting place.

The list includes:

  • Pringles cans (and products with similar packaging) – which are made up of several different materials that are difficult to separate.
  • Lucozade Sport (and drinks with similar packaging) – where the bottle is covered in a plastic sleeve made from a different type of plastic. These have to be picked out of recycling plants by hand.
  • Cleaning spray bottles – where the spraying mechanism is made up of different types of plastic and often small bits of metal.
  • Black plastic food trays – which supermarkets use to make meat look redder, but also makes the plastic impossible to recycle.
  • Whisky packaging – which uses a combination of materials including a metal base and top which can be difficult to separate.

Other plastic products that can be tackled are coffee cup lids and crisp packets which are made by fusing together lots of materials.

The Circular Design Challenge and Circular Materials Challenge allow innovators, materials scientists and entrepreneurs to compete for up to $2 million of funding and grants.

Challenge winners will enter a 12-month accelerator program with access to industry experts, commercial guidance and lots of feedback to help your idea take effect in the real world.

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Wheatley Plastics joins select group of companies to pass ISO 9001:2015

Wheatley Plastics is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the top-quality ISO 9001:2015 quality assurance accreditation.

ISO 9001 is an international standard laying out the requirements for a well-functioning quality management system.

Wheatley Plastics managed to pass the latest version of the award on the first attempt and became one of only five percent of UK companies that have the quality mark. Continue reading

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Plastic free aisles and the future of supermarket packaging?

Supermarkets are being urged to create a plastic-free aisle in every store to prevent tons of waste packaging ending up in the world’s oceans.

The Plastic Oceans Foundation, an environmental lobby group, is encouraging UK supermarkets to wake up to the impact of plastic packaging on the environment and give customers the option to buy non-plastic products. Continue reading

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New plastic packaging solves the ‘ketchup bottle problem’

tomato ketchup glass bottleFood waste is a growing problem in our increasingly waste-conscious society. And it isn’t just the wasted foodstuffs that is the problem – it’s the extra packaging and energy that go into them. Continue reading

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The plastic injection moulding process

The plastic injection moulding process is a fast and precise way of producing hundreds or thousands of uniform plastic products.

The basic process is self-explanatory – softened plastic is injected into a mould where it quickly hardens and ejects before the process repeats. When you drill down more closely into the process, however, it can be a lot more complicated than that, especially where the latest technology is concerned.

Injection moulding is used to make lots of everyday plastic products. Packaging, toys, tool housings, telephones, bottle caps, plastic chairs, washing-up bowls, wheelie bins, DVD cases and lots of other items that you use every day are manufactured in an injection moulding machine.

Wheatley Plastics’ is a well accomplished company when it comes to injection moulding. With decades of experience and a large stock of machinery, we can produce large and small products in a huge range of quantities. Continue reading

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Wheatley Plastics invests in new Borche machine to keep up with demand

Plastics manufacturer Wheatley Plastics has invested in a third high-performance Borche injection moulding machine in response to increased production demand for larger scale mouldings.

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Wheatley Plastics to build on growth with new investments

Wheatley Plastics aims to build on a cluster of recent successes with the hiring of a new production and investment in new machinery. Continue reading

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British Manufacturing Company double turnover by investing in its people

Wheatley Plastics Ltd, a Stockport based Injection Moulding Company, has not only been investing in its machinery but also its people. This has been acknowledged by achieving the ‘Investors In People’ accreditation.

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Wheatley Plastics Announce Supported Charity for 2013/2014

Relationships are a key value of Wheatley Plastics. Our sixty years of manufacturing excellence is built on relationships with our clients, suppliers and employees. Continue reading

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Wheatley Plastics Celebrate Fundraising Success

Throughout 2012, Wheatley Plastics has been hosting a number of fundraising events to help support the Charity, ‘When You Wish Upon A Star.’

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