Dr. William Ritchie claims induction furnace technology to be a lower-cost alternative to trading in recycled and reclaimed plastic with domestic and international market applications.

Plastic waste has become one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. The accumulation of plastic waste in landfills and oceans has reached alarming levels, demanding innovative solutions to tackle this crisis. In recent years, a revolutionary concept has emerged—a game-changing method of plastic waste recycling using an induction furnace. This cutting-edge technology has the potential to transform the industry by bypassing traditional granulating processes and directly converting plastic waste into extruded products. In this editorial, we explore the revolutionary induction furnace and its potential to revolutionise the plastic waste recycling industry.

The induction furnace represents a significant leap forward in plastic waste recycling. Traditionally, recycling plastic waste involves a labourious and energy-intensive process that includes sorting, shredding, granulating, conveying, agglomeration and extrusion. However, the induction furnace offers a breakthrough approach by directly processing plastic waste into extruded or form moulded products without the need for these additional processes. This streamlined method not only saves time and energy but also reduces the cost associated with recycling plastic waste.

Efficiency and cost-effectiveness

The induction furnace’s direct conversion process offers remarkable efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By eliminating the processing step, the technology minimises energy consumption and reduces the need for additional machinery. The simplicity of the process translates into lower capital investment and operational costs, making it an attractive option for businesses and recycling facilities of all sizes. This cost-effectiveness has the potential to revolutionise the plastic waste recycling industry, making it more economically viable and accessible.

The transport cost of waste material can be a significant barrier to profitability. The air-cooled induction furnace can come in several sizes and is a single operating module, easily transportable to the site of the plastic waste.  This site may be at sea or on land, in the city or in remote locations.

Environmental impact and sustainability

The induction furnace’s impact on the environment is equally impressive. By bypassing the granulating process, it reduces the carbon footprint associated with traditional recycling methods and avoids the inadvertent micronising of plastics. Additionally, the direct conversion process helps preserve the quality of the plastic, resulting in higher-quality recycled products. This not only increases the value and demand for recycled plastic but also promotes a more circular economy. With the induction furnace, we can minimise the extraction of virgin resources, conserve energy, and significantly reduce plastic waste pollution.

Embracing a sustainable future

The induction furnace represents a pivotal step forward in plastic waste recycling, offering a revolutionary solution that bypasses the granulating process and transforms plastic waste into extruded products efficiently and cost-effectively. By embracing this innovative technology, we can usher in a new era of sustainability and circularity in the plastic waste industry. Governments, businesses, and individuals must rally together to support research, development, and the widespread adoption of induction furnace systems. Together, we can revolutionise the plastic waste recycling industry and pave the way for a cleaner, greener future.

A bit of history

It all started with R&D being carried out by Dr. William Ritchie using his invention of a small induction furnace operating at Ritchie Technology in country Victoria.  Dr. Ritchie later approached Inductotherm Group Australia to develop a large-scale furnace based on his design concept.

Inductotherm Group Australia is part of the worldwide Inductotherm Group of companies which is the largest induction furnace manufacturer in the world today with 40 furnace companies specialising thermal processing and melting applications.

This is not just an idea but is now a proven production processing machine operating in Geelong Victoria capable of processing 50 to 100kgs/hour. Bigger systems are now on the drawing board.


The induction furnace stands as a beacon of hope, representing a game-changing solution to the plastic waste crisis. Its ability to directly process plastic waste into products, while bypassing traditional processes, offers unprecedented efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By embracing this revolutionary technology, we can significantly reduce plastic waste pollution, conserve resources, build a circular economy and promote a more sustainable future. It is time for stakeholders across industries to recognise the potential of the induction furnace and work collectively to integrate it into the global recycling infrastructure. Let us seize this opportunity to revolutionise the plastic waste industry and shape a world where waste becomes a valuable resource.