New recruit proud to make a difference

A member of the team which will operate a world first plastic recycling plant has turned his back on a successful career with traditional industries to help drive “positive change”.

Thirty-two-year-old Jack Evans said he was even happy to take on a more junior role to join the Stockton-based px Group which will run and maintain Mura Technology’s purpose-built HydroPRS™ advanced plastic recycling facility at Wilton International.

It will be the first commercial scale site to process flexible and rigid, mixed-waste plastics – including films – which were previously considered unrecyclable via traditional mechanical recycling processes.

Jack served his apprenticeship in petro-chemicals before working in oil and gas in Scotland.  He returned to Teesside two years ago to work again in the petro-chemical industry but the opportunity to work for a new, ground-breaking and potentially world-changing project was too tempting.

“I didn’t apply initially because I had a good job.  But then I thought I’d kick myself if I didn’t at least give it a go,” said Jack.

Not only was he prepared to take a step down from his job as a supervisor to become a technician, his CV also caught the eye because for nearly six years Jack has been studying part-time for an English degree with the Open University.

“I’m sure a lot of companies looked at it with scepticism – perhaps they thought I was going to get the degree and leave them.  But px were really interested and very positive about it,” he said.

Jack was taken on as a Control and Instrumentation Technician in June and even before the site starts fully operating is convinced he has made the right move.  “This is genuinely the first time in my career where I’ve been proud to tell people what I’m involved in because you know you’re making a difference,” he said.

No limit to recycling

Mura Technology’s HydroPRS™ process uses water at high temperature and high pressure to recycle waste plastics. High-quality, liquid hydrocarbons are produced which will replace the use of fossil-based oils in the manufacture of new plastic and other products – and there is no limit to how many times the same material can be recycled.

“We need to find a solution that doesn’t result in plastic going to landfill.  The more you get involved in this the more you realise its potential,” said Jack.

“The money’s good but it’s not the motivator for me. It’s a real opportunity to drive positive change and you don’t often get the chance to help achieve that.”

Jack is one of more than 30 people recruited by px for the Mura project.  The team is now being trained in readiness for the plant’s opening early this year.

Group Plant Manager Antony Myrddin-Baker said: “We’ve got a great blend of ages and experiences and, like Jack, they all share the determination to make this a success because it is so important for their families, friends and the generations to come.”

The award-winning px Group is more than a quarter of a century old and is a fully integrated infrastructure solutions business which delivers innovative management services for high hazard and highly regulated environments.

px Group also owns the Saltend Chemicals Park at the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary in the Humber, which is home to several world-leading manufacturing businesses such as Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, INEOS, and Vivergo Fuels.