To say our growing stockpiles of non-degradable plastic waste are an environmental headache has to be the understatement of the century. However, thanks to Somerset West inventor William Graham, this highly problematic waste has just become a valuable resource. Here’s why: His modular, fully automated plastics-to-fuel processing plant converts all types of waste plastics (except PVC, because of its chlorine content), as well as vehicle tyres, into a variety of fuels to power our modern lifestyles.

With literally just the push of a button, Graham’s plant produces a multi-fuel chemically similar to diesel that can, in turn, be further refined into a petrol equivalent. Oh, and by-products (depending on the feedstock) include paraffin and LP gas. It also produces a type of clean “sweet crude” with a zero CO2 content that can be processed in diverse ways. To give you an idea: the sulphur content and viscosity levels of Graham’s marine bunker oil are below standard industry norms, while his heavy furnace oil (used in high-volume industrial heat fuel applications) is equally impressive. And his all-up costs for producing 1 litre of multi-fuel? About R2.50.
Locally developed plastics-to-fuel processing plant is a real game-changer

Now this is impressive and so incredibly cheap. I can picture one of these at every recycling depot in the country. Drive up, empty your crate of plastic into the back, pop £1 into the coin slot (I like to think our South African friend will make a tidy profit on each litre) wait a while and drive off an extra litre of diesel and a little extra fuel for the braai or tractor.