Plastic Energy’s Loughborough-based R&D team with Andrew Lake, Principal Scientist, and David McNamara, Chief Technology Officer (far right)

Recycling technology leader Plastic Energy celebrates opening of new research and development labs at Loughborough University

Plastic Energy, a global leader in chemical recycling technology, has announced the opening of its new research and development labs at Loughborough University.

Left to right: Steve Christie, Professor of Chemical Technologies at Loughborough University, Carlos Monreal, Plastic Energy CEO, and David McNamara, Plastic Energy Chief Technology Officer.

This builds on the company’s impactful research partnership with the University which began in 2012 to accelerate the innovative process to help prevent plastic waste, transforming previously unrecyclable plastic waste into a valuable resource.

Building capability and attracting skilled research and technical staff, Plastic Energy’s research team has grown from the laboratory space it shared with the University’s chemistry researchers into a suite of specialist labs and a dedicated office space on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP).

LUSEP will be the hub for Plastic Energy’s work on further development and optimisation of its unique chemical recycling technology. The research team will use state of the art equipment in the new labs to test feedstock and improve the quality of the final product from Plastic Energy’s TAC™ process, called TACOIL™. 

Plastic Energy leadership and research teams, and key stakeholders at Loughborough University gathered for the official opening event which included a tour of the labs and demonstration of current R&D projects. 

“LUSEP is an excellent base for Plastic Energy to continue leading the way to help create a circular economy where plastics are re-used repeatedly, for good,” said Steve Christie, Loughborough University’s Professor of Chemical Technologies. “Co-located with the University’s net zero and sustainability research capabilities, I look forward to us continuing working together to realize this shared goal.”

“After a decade of collaboration with Loughborough University, we are delighted to formally open our new Plastic Energy labs and office space at LUSEP,” said David McNamara, Chief Technology Officer at Plastic Energy. “This will provide a base for our research team to continue their invaluable work on our technology and act us a hub for internal and external visitors. We are grateful to Loughborough University for their continued support.”  

Alex Owen, Loughborough University Chief Financial Officer and LUSEP lead, says: “Leading the field in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy for plastics, Plastic Energy are a valuable addition to LUSEP’s largest and most established cluster, Energy and Low Carbon. “With its distinctive added value of the University’s knowledge base and high calibre graduate workforce, I am confident that LUSEP will be a supportive base for Plastic Energy’s R&D team to flourish.  I wish them every success.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 22/222

About Plastic Energy 

Plastic Energy is a global leader in chemical recycling, offering a sustainable solution to help prevent plastic waste, transforming previously unrecyclable plastic waste into a valuable resource. Its patented and proven chemical recycling technology converts end-of-life plastic waste into an optimal feedstock (TACOIL™) for making virgin-quality recycled plastics. Plastic Energy currently has two chemical recycling plants that are in constant operation in Spain and is one of the few companies worldwide that has sold TACOIL™ from the conversion of end-of-life plastic waste to replace fossil oils in the manufacturing of new plastics.

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings – the sixth year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.