It’s go for eco firm

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Revolutionary technology that would slash the amount of plastic buried in landfill sites is poised to go into production in Sheffield.

The technology is designed to turn waste plastic into heavy duty construction products and is the brainchild of R3 Products, a new, green, manufacturing business launched by former DavyMarkham boss Kevin Parkin, Doug Anderson and Paul Sapsford.

R3 Products reckons it can use the technology to turn unsorted waste plastic into an innovative alternative to concrete kerbing, ground drainage systems and a recyclable replacement for plywood shuttering when laying concrete.

The kerbing weighs less than half as much as its concrete counterpart, is just as durable, but less damaging to wheel rims when cars come too close.

What’s more, it can be designed to incorporate channels through which fibre optic and other cables can be run, and solar power systems that could run street lights.

Best of all, it has been designed so that a plastic channel can be laid first and covered over until the heavy site work is completed, when the raised kerb is added.

At present, it is thought about 60 per cent of concrete kerbing on building sites has to be replaced before the site is handed over, because it has been damaged by heavy plant, so R3’s kerbs would mean additional savings as well as green benefits.

The drainage system can be used for soakaways that can be covered with chippings or grass and the plywood alternative would not only save on costs but could be repeatedly recycled.

“The technology is sustainable, offers massive savings on raw materials, stops plastic going into landfill and cuts down on the use of wood,” said Kevin Parkin.

“We are delighted to have located the business in the Sheffield City Region and will be proud to be manufacturing under a “Made in Sheffield” name once the production process is proven.”

The company has secured backing from HSBC, is currently installing purpose-built manufacturing plant at a 45,000 sq ft factory in Ecclesfield and has begun recruiting key people ahead of starting production in about two months time.

R3 Products was advised by the Sheffield offices of lawyers Nabarro, accountants PwC and corporate finance experts from Barber Harrison & Platt.

Stephen Ingram, corporate finance partner at Barber Harrison & Platt, said: “In these challenging economic times R3 is an excellent demonstration that a quality management team with a good business opportunity can still raise the finance needed to get a substantial start-up business off the ground.”