A Midland entrepreneur has swapped the world of accident repair to pioneer a new service that could save manufacturers thousands of pounds when it comes to managing their plastic waste.
Paul Cotton launched Recycled UK earlier this year to provide a complete management system from picking up the plastic scrap on a round robin service, recycling it using industry leading machinery and then selling it back into the sector.
A number of contracts with body shops and the automotive supply chain have already been agreed, with the potential ramifications of the European Union's End of Life Directive set to create even greater demand.
Mr Cotton originally got the idea for the company while running a car body repair shop in Parkfield Road, Wolverhampton.
He said: "I had worked in the car body business for quite a while and discovered that the plastic waste was going nowhere.
"I thought there must be a market for this so I decided to set up a company. Because of a change in environmental regulations and people being more environmentally conscious I thought there would be a great opportunity out there."
He added: "Over 6.7 million tonnes of plastic is used every year and makes up eight per cent of the average household dustbin, most of which finds its way into landfill sites or at worst, rivers and fields.
"Manufacturers now need to comply with new legislation and this can be an expensive and time consuming exercising.
"What we are offering is a cost effective, complete management system that takes away all the stress and, better still, is good for the environment."
Over £150,000 has been invested into setting up the business, including premises in D'Urberville Road, Wolverhampton, plus a new state-oftheart granulating and shredding line and a specialist collection vehicle.
A longer term investment package will eventually see other machines installed and the introduction of a fleet of five vehicles to collect consignments from across the UK.
Mr Cotton said: "Using previous contacts, I have been able to sign up a number of accident repair companies and this has been boosted by orders from car and aerospace suppliers.
"We are expecting to turn over £200,000 in the first year and this should rise to £1 million by 2008 and a workforce of 12 highly skilled staff."
Recycled UK is currently in exploratory talks with the British Plastics Federation and says it is determined to work with local authorities on meeting their plastic waste requirements.