University of Warwick researchers have developed a new technology that could process 100 percent of Christmas and other household plastic instead of the tiny fraction that currently gets recycled.
Typically only 12 percent of such waste is truly recycled often the rest is often put into landfill or simply burnt as fuel.
The simple process would be able to cope with every piece of plastic waste and can even break some polymers such as polystyrene-back down to its original monomers, reports Science Daily.
The Warwick researchers have devised a unit that uses pyrolysis in a 'fluidised bed' reactor.
Tests have shown that the researchers have been able to literally shovel in to such a reactor a wide range of mixed plastics, which can then be reduced down to useful products many of which can then be retrieved by simple distillation.
This research could have a significant impact on the budgets of local authorities and produce considerable environmental benefits.
The lab scale tests have successfully produced distilled liquids and solids that can be taken away by the bucket load for processing into new products.
The researchers think that their work could be of great interest to local authorities and waste disposal companies who could use the technology to create large scale reactor units at municipal tips that would produce tanker loads of reusable material.