As a strategist and environmentalist of over 30 years, John is always on the look-out for innovative solutions to address the issues that threaten the future of the planet.
His company Pi Polymer Recycling Ltd is based at the Binn Eco Park in Glenfarg near Perth, an established and growing circular economy focused resource management centre, at the forefront of recycling in the UK.
The site has become one of Scotland’s largest and most integrated waste management facilities but there is still much work to be done in the area of plastic recycling.
As John explains: “We need to change how the supply chain for waste plastic works – it’s broken. Too many plastics are left not claimed or collected with no alternative but to be sent to landfill or incineration, with much ending up in our marine systems and as litter. This is catastrophic for our carbon emissions, wildlife and eco-systems and just cannot continue. Our idea is to develop a facility which will capture all plastic (unless already part of a deposit refund scheme) taking the complexity of plastic recycling away from the consumer.”
The ‘All Plastic Separating and Upcycling Facility (APSuF)’ will separate and collect all sizes and types of plastic from a range of sources. Bins will be provided to customers - domestic, commercial, agriculture, construction, demolition, local authorities, shops, hotels – all productions sources. The plastic will be collected and taken to the facility where it will be dealt with in the best way for the environment including mechanical and chemical feedstock recycling (Recyling Technologies) with a level of recycling beyond 80%, whilst ensuring all plastic can be captured and optimally managed.
The project is pre-funding and progressing through the developmental stages with £5.8m grant support from Zero Waste Scotland and the Tay Cities Deal, and will significantly support the demand that by 2025 only 5% of all waste generated in Scotland can go to Landfill - Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012.
The complex sorting and separation technology developed by Pi Polymer at the Binn Eco Park aims to transform the future of plastic recycling at a time when people are becoming more aware of the negative impact that the enduring nature of plastic has created for our planet.
With research showing that only 28% of plastic is currently recycled the new concept APSuF facility offers advanced plastics recycling hubs as regional innovation centres to stimulate plastics recycling, innovation, R&D and smart manufacturing using recycled plastics.
The project aims to be in operation by the end of 2022 early 2023 with a first phase on-site next year.
John was able to share his ideas as part of the Planet Mark Zero Carbon Tour at Perth earlier this year. His message was clear:
“We need to take action – get co-ordinated, get cross-sectoral (public, private, third sector) get co-creative, get working at scale.”
I (John Ferguson, Managing Director) spent many years in policy and strategy at a national level, which honed a detailed understanding of recycling and circular economy systems.
As a scientist and strategist my interest was always in delivering infrastructures that improved underperforming systems. We work on the principles of industrial ecology - change business for the benefit of society and the environment. People-centred change.
Understand the system you are trying to fix or improve.
Target the key innovations, gather the data and design for resilience and evolution.