Local firm provides plastic recycling technology for Jordan refugee camps

By Anita Jaynes on 16 February, 2021

Equipment destined to help refugees in Jordan has departed the factory of pioneering recycling firm Protomax Plastics Ltd.

The company based in Frome has integrated one of its waste-plastic recycling machines into a shipping container destined for the Middle Eastern country, making it ready-to-use on arrival.

Protomax’s technology enables any waste plastic to be recycled into Storm Board, a strong and durable alternative to plywood suitable for a range of uses.

The plastic recycling technology housed in the shipping container was created for Protomax’s client BOXS AG. The Swiss company builds refugee shelters out of Storm Board and the container will be delivered as part of its humanitarian aid project in Jordan.

On arrival in Jordan, it will recycle plastic waste from refugee camps into Storm Board which can then be used to create new shelters for those in need.

In order to allow ease of use and safe storage, the team at Protomax designed and created a mechanical arm to allow the machinery to move easily in and out of the container for operation.

Nick Stillwell, Owner of Protomax

Owner of Protomax, Nick Stillwell, said, “The driving force behind Protomax and Storm Board is to take the problem of waste plastic and recycle it into something useful, durable and reusable.

“The refugee camps in Jordan contain a large number of people, all of whom need shelter from the elements. In addition, with large volumes of people unfortunately comes the problem of large amounts of plastic waste.

“It was clear to us that Protomax and Storm Board technology could help to address both of these issues, but there was the challenge of how to get the equipment there and how to store it.

“We came up with a solution that allows ease of shipping and ease of use, which means that the equipment is now ready to make an important difference to those living in incredibly difficult conditions in Jordanian refugee camps.”

The Storm Board product was developed following the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake which destroyed buildings, infrastructure and displaced over 60,000 people. Nick Stillwell saw an opportunity to recycle the waste plastic to build weatherproof shelters for those in need.

As a sustainable alternative to plywood, Storm Board has multiple applications across a range of sectors including; construction, commercial property and agriculture.

Protomax currently recycles 600 tonnes of plastic destined for landfill or incineration per year at its factory, with the capacity to double this.