Plastic railway sleepers – a lifeline for the embattled UK plastic recycling industry?

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Sicut Enterprises is excited to announce that it is bringing the manufacture of its market leading recycled plastic composite railway sleeper, Ecotrax, to the UK to meet growing European demand.

Manufacture of Ecotrax in the UK will help address the significant challenges facing UK and European railways as a result of the reduced quality and increased cost of imported hardwood and the European wide ban on the use of creosote treatment from December 2017. It will also provide a lifeline for the embattled UK plastic recycling industry that is reeling from the collapse in virgin polymer prices following the fall in oil prices and threats posed by the increased production of plastic from natural gas.

The production of Ecotrax from locally sourced plastic waste will deliver much needed but elusive margins for plastic re-processors, enabling more UK waste material to be converted into valuable products for local and export markets rather than relying on shipping waste to Asia or worse still, landfill.

To date Ecotrax has been manufactured by the other licensee of the technology developed at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in the US, from its plant in Texas. Sicut will now deliver the advantages presented by the local production of products from locally sourced waste materials, these include cost savings as well as local economic, environmental and employment benefits associated with new manufacturing closer to the point of sale.

William Mainwaring, Chief Executive of Sicut, said:
“With the rising UK and European demand for Ecotrax and other products using Sicut’s licensed technology, local manufacture is the only solution that will deliver customer expectations on lead time, volumes and pricing. The UK has the raw material and the manufacturing capability to meet local demand and the manufacture of Ecotrax in the UK will provide a much sought after boost to the embattled plastic recycling industry, which in some areas is seemingly on the verge of collapse. Ecotrax manufacture will bring inward investment to the UK, new advanced manufacturing, green jobs and local regeneration”

“it is clearly wrong that high quality hardwood is still being used in rail infrastructure when a proven alternative, manufactured from plastic waste, offers a better value alternative. Bringing the manufacture of Ecotrax to the UK from the US will I hope remove the final obstacle to widespread adoption of this remarkable technology across Europe, and the economic, environmental and social benefits that come with it.“

“Sicut hopes to conclude commercial discussions with selected partners and be able to announce detailed plans for the UK manufacture of Ecotrax in the coming weeks.”

About Sicut Enterprises
Sicut Enterprises is one of two exclusive licensees of a package of intellectual property covering materials, manufacturing processes and products developed by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Sicut has the exclusive rights to manufacture, have manufactured, market, distribute and sell products using this intellectual property worldwide, with the exception of the following:

  • the Americas, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Tajikistan, Georgia, Armenia and the complete Caribbean territory;
  • China, a territory to which Sicut and the other licensee share the exclusive rights.

About the Rutgers Technology
The Rutgers Technology, which comprises patent rights and know-how, has been developed and proven over the past 20 years and is used to make a range of award winning products from proprietary blends of post-consumer and post-industrial plastics that are all 100% recyclable at end of life. Products made using the technology include railway sleepers, bridges, construction mats, I-beams and marine piles. The patent rights referred to in this release do not include patent applications AU 2011218074 & AU 2009225641, which are currently not used by Sicut in the manufacture of products.

For additional information, please visit Sicut’s website: http://www.sicut.co.uk

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Anil Aggarwal
@sicutenterprise
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