Government-funded research company Interface Polymers makes plastic breakthrough

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
Christoper Kay with members of the Interface Polymers R&D team

A company set up just three years ago by Innovate UK claims it has developed plastic recycling technology to ‘transform’ a wide range of plastic products.

Interface Polymers, which was funded by the government-funded Innovate UK scheme, has developed Polarfin technology which modifies the surface of commonly-used plastics polyethylene and polypropylene.

It works by allowing adhesion between otherwise incompatible materials, meaning the plastic waste can be recycled into products.

The technology was developed at the University of Warwick by company founders Christopher Kay and Peter Scott.

Kay applied to the ICUREe programme after completing a PhD based on the research, which helped him turn the technology into a commercial proposition.

The scheme involved a two-day bootcamp on how to develop commercial propositions, followed by a three-month industry contact programme allowing Kay to meet with 100 potential customers.

He said: “The iCure scheme stood out because of its simplicity. It appealed to me because it was short and I could throw myself into it energetically and come out ready to start a business.

Interface Polymers has attracted £4m in private investment in the last 2 years including £1.5m from private capital investment group 24Haymarket.

Kay added: “Next year, we will be working closely with customers to prove the technology across 3-4 applications in readiness for a multi-tonne production campaign.”

Interface Polymers currently has eight employees and plans to grow to 20 in the next two years.

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