May 1, 2006

Plastics to be recycled with Montserrat volcanic ash

By David Eldridge

UK company Plasroc will make roof tiles from the novel composite.
28 April 2006 – UK plastics recycling company Plasroc International has found a use for the millions of tonnes of volcanic ash covering Montserrat after the Caribbean island suffered a disastrous eruption seven years ago.

Plasroc has signed a 25-year contract with the government of Montserrat which will see the Halifax-based company using its own processing technology to blend recycled plastics with the volcanic ash on the island. Plasroc will then manufacture roof tiles from the composite which will be sold in the Caribbean region.

The company is investing £3-4m (E4-7m) in new recycling equipment for the factory in Montserrat. Production will start within the next four months.
Plasroc is planning to source 5,000-10,000tpa of waste plastics, to be derived from EPS packaging, fish boxes and polythene film wastes. This will be sorted and compounded in the UK before being shipped to the Montserrat factory.

The blending of the ash and polymer is not new as the Plasroc group have successfully produced similar products in its factory based in Donegal in Ireland. Slate dust from quarries has previously been used in the composite blend in its products.

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