Cambridge, 28th April 2015

SyndicateRoom hosts world-first recycling solution

  • The investor-led equity crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom recently launched a funding round for Enval’s world-first laminate recycling process.
  • Enval’s technology is the first to extract 100% of the aluminium (as well as fuel) from notoriously difficult-to-recycle plastic aluminium laminates, such as food pouches, toothpaste tubes and drinks cartons.

Following a successful start to 2015, SyndicateRoom has launched a funding round for the company behind a world-first solution to recycling plastic aluminium laminates - Enval. This latest opportunity joins an impressive list of companies raising finance through the unique platform, including the first ever crowdfunded IPO, Mill Residential REIT, and even Hollywood film Salty by Simon West – the acclaimed director of Con Air, Tomb Raider and The Expendables II.

Enval has developed a process to extract 100% of usable aluminium (in addition to fuel) from plastic aluminium laminates - something which wasn’t thought possible until now. This material, which is comprised of aluminium foil sandwiched between plastic layers, is widely used due to its lightweight, flexible and protective properties, and more than 160,000 tonnes of flexible laminate packaging enter the UK marketplace each year. It has previously been impossible to recycle, meaning laminate waste usually ends up in landfill.

Enval’s process, which is based on microwave induced pyrolysis, heats waste laminates in the absence of oxygen to extract valuable materials without emitting greenhouse gases or toxic emissions. It began at Cambridge University, when Professor Howard Chase and Dr. Carlos Ludlow-Palafox microwaved a bacon roll for so long that it turned into a glowing mass of carbon. This sparked further experiments, resulting in the eventual formation of Enval.

The Enval process already has backing from FMCG brands including Nestlé, Kraft Foods and Mondelēz International who supported the development of the company’s commercial-scale demonstration plant. Enval is also part of a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) research programme to introduce plastic aluminium laminates into existing household recycling schemes. The company’s long term objective is to co-create ‘the materials of the future’ with recyclability built-in – a goal that it hopes to achieve through equity investment from SyndicateRoom members.

Carlos Ludlow-Palafox, MD and CTO of Enval, said, ‘Plastic aluminium laminates are extremely popular with even faster growth predicted in the years ahead. But as their use increases so to does demand for a sustainable end-of-life solution. We are seeing an incredible level of interest from major brands through to local authorities and consumers and are proud to be driving the circular economy.’

Goncalo de Vasconcelos, founder and CEO of SyndicateRoom, said, ‘With top lead investors already investing and a strong environmental mission of recycling laminated packaging, we are very proud of having Enval on SyndicateRoom.’