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Terry Burton Retires!

Following the celebration of Terry Burton's 40 years’ service with Luxus last year, we bid a fond farewell to Terry, who retired from Luxus this month (for a well-deserved rest).
He joined Luxus in 1979, that same year Blondie’s single ‘Heart of Glass’ topped the charts and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was published, it was also the year that he met his future wife.
Having joined Luxus as an Extrusion Operator, he progressed to Technical Manager, a crucial role that required him to lead the polymer development team, working at the forefront of sustainable thermoplastics innovation.
In 1979, things were very different, Terry explains: “As an Extrusion Operator it was my job to ensure the smooth running of a small strand line extruder. I was responsible for the entire process from extruding the polymer to checking it for quality control purposes - it was very ‘hands-on’ then.
“The work culture was great however, as everyone knew each other by name and there was a real family-like atmosphere, since there were just 20 staff. But things can’t stay the same, Luxus currently employs 160 staff at the plant on the Fairfield Industrial Estate here in Louth, but we still share those same company values.”
In those early days, R&D was as critical to the company’s success as it is today. In 1982, and ahead of the market, Luxus developed its first technical ‘hub’ for materials development, testing and analysis, and Terry gained a Lab Technician role.
Terry continued: “I oversaw all polymer preparation and testing, which meant keeping test batches running throughout the night. As the business grew we quickly needed to recruit staff to help manage the night shift and to enable us to expand into weekends, it was the beginning of our dedicated technical team.”
Then, by the early 1990s, the technical operation became critical, as Luxus needed to satisfy nationally-recognised quality standards, since it was now being audited by major automakers as it was one of the first UK compounders to engineer polypropylene for under bonnet parts.
After managing the lab for eight years, Terry was promoted to General Manager, where he was responsible for both the factory and the technical team for over a decade. Then later in 2008, these functions were split due to company growth. Developing new products was now a priority and since Terry had always been passionate about making things, he was promoted to Technical Manager.
The lab ensured product consistency and performance of all prime and recycled feedstocks, by undertaking stringent testing and quality control procedures. In recent years, investment in new specialist machinery including FTIR spectroscopy meant that the business had outgrown its facilities. In 2012, Luxus responded by investing in a new purpose built Technical Centre, this unique facility allowed its technicians to deliver exceptional, repeatable quality across every batch of polymer it produced, for environmentally-critical applications.
“I have one of the best roles in the business, with new products always comes fresh challenges, as we are increasingly using interesting and novel additives to support demands for enhanced scratch resistance and light-weighting to help stretch the boundaries in sustainable plastics technology.
“While rapid change in the auto industry is also helping to drive our materials development like never before. Increasingly electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving and car sharing are all going to impact on what we demand from high performance materials in the future.”
Luxus Managing Director, Peter Atterby, comments: “Throughout his 40 year career Terry has been essential to our success, enabling us to transform from a burgeoning recycler to a £25m turnover technical innovator. As we continue to meet challenges, he is now sharing his expertise with a new generation of apprentices to develop materials that our customers will demand tomorrow.”
At his celebratory lunch, Terry was presented with a 40 year old vintage Port. The gift was chosen as Terry is better known by his colleagues as ‘Top Shelf Terry’ as he has a taste for quality spirits.

We bid a fond farewell to Terry as a manager in October 2020, as he strides confidently into his well-earned retirement. On leaving the building, Terry was disappointed he could not offer lots of hugs to his fellow colleagues, due to strict social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we threw a delightful hamper at him to help make up for it! 
If you’re interested in a career with Luxus find us on facebook @Luxus.Limited for the latest vacancies.
Older Updates
Ron Tonn - plastics recycling pioneer and founder of Lincolnshire compounder and recycler Luxus, died suddenly on Wednesday 12th August 2015 from heart failure. He was 83 years old.

Born in Chicago in 1932 amidst the Great Depression, he went on to become a US army veteran having seen active service in the Korean War in his early twenties.

Ron Tonn, whose career in plastics spanned five decades began trading in polymers for American based Muehlstein in the mid 1950’s. He was subsequently sent to the UK to help manage the company’s European arm at the age of 25, which he headed up just a year later.

He was later to establish his own business, Luxus on the 15th January 1965. The name Luxus came from his German grandmother, since she often described him as her ‘Du bist ein luxus kind’ which literally translates as luxury’s child.

At the company’s incorporation, it became his ‘luxury child’ since he didn’t have sufficient finance for such a venture at the time. Luxus was also a preferred brand name adopted by German manufacturers to suggest luxury e.g. The Opal Luxus.

Ron Tonn’s early projects included doing a couple of national TV adverts in front of the camera for major household names Oxo and St Bruno Tobacco. A long term income however, would not come from that route.

Then one day he received a call from an old Muehlstien contact offering him a parcel of substandard polyethylene to sell. He knew instantly how to find a willing buyer and so another offer quickly followed. Both deals realised more profit than he had made in the previous two years - his new venture was born.

His burgeoning plastics recovery business was quickly growing, so he approached a small granulation company Mavelat, to fulfil its custom granulation work. This was done from its factory based in St Albans that was later to relocate to Eve Street in Louth in 1967. At that time everything was loaded by hand out of Louth with a lot of export going via rail.

Peter Laking, engineering and project manager at Luxus recalls those early days: “We always had the upmost respect for Ron. He was never afraid to get his hands dirty, he’d help with the granulator work if needed and wanting to understand everything there was to know about the materials we were using.

“More than that, he wanted to incentivise us all too. In the early days when we were sifting powder, he said “If you can sift 10 tonnes a day I’ll buy you a bottle of whisky!” When we did he bought the team a gallon of whisky – those were of course very different times!”
Ron Tonn often described coming to the UK as his true ‘rebirth’, since it marked for him a fundamental shift from simply trading  plastics in the ‘old days’ in America. Luxus was instead about recovering existing waste plastics by re-engineering material that would otherwise be destined for landfill.

The mantra ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ was gaining popularity in the mid 1960s. The time was right for Ron Tonn’s sustainable ethos. Marking the beginning of what we now understand as today’s plastics recovery industry.

He was later to become a British citizen too, proof enough of his belief in his business and his affection for his newly adopted homeland.

Modernity came when Luxus had the opportunity to purchase nylon scrap from pads used for rail tracks laid on concrete tiles for a ready market in America. This required joint investment in a heavy duty granulator, so a formal partnership with Mavelat began.

Luxus however, was soon to do the bulk of the business so the joint venture quickly became cumbersome for this entrepreneur. Ron Tonn then had to raise the necessary funds to buy out of the Mavelat partnership which he did manage to secure. This as it happens was great timing, just before the 1970’s oil crisis when demand for recycled plastics was to spiral.

In 1976 Luxus was one of the first businesses to buy premises on the Fairfield Industrial Estate in Louth. Ron Tonn continued to manage the business successfully despite the subsequent 1980’s recession before retiring in 1997. His true ‘back to the floor’ approach to decision making has been passed to its present managing director, Peter Atterby.

Peter Atterby, managing director, Luxus, described Ron Tonn as “a dear friend, a great and charismatic man and one of the UK’s few genuine plastics recycling pioneers. Ron created a business that was managed largely by hand in the early days to one that was at the very forefront of technology accelerating with a growing plastics industry. Luxus as a result, became a true leader in its field. He will be very sadly missed.”

The business that Ron Tonn started as a young American entrepreneur turned 50 this year. At its golden anniversary celebration, he paid tribute to his predecessor Peter Atterby, he said: “That man has taken it (the company) such a distance since he took over the reins. It is totally unrecognisable.”

Today Luxus is a £25m turnover business operating in global markets and still fulfilling its founder’s pioneering vision for a more sustainable future.


For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email:
Luxus Ltd        
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets


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Plastics Pioneer Luxus Delivers Recyclite Project Presentation At Auto Interiors Expo 2015
First time exhibitor, technical plastics compounder Luxus delivered a presentation, ‘lightweight recycled polypropylene for tomorrow’s automotive interiors’ on the 18th June 2015 at the Auto Interiors Expo based in Stuttgart. ( To view the complete presentatiion click here. /userfiles/download/Dr%20Christel%20Croft%20IAE%20Stuttgart.ppsx

The show has become a ‘must-visit’ for Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers as well as for interior design teams from automotive manufacturers wanting to keep up with the rapidly changing world of materials, finishes and technologies in the cabin. As part of the expo’s ‘Interiors Innovation and Design Forum’, Luxus Project Manager, Dr Christel Croft shared with the audience the aims of its new commercialisation project known as Recyclite.

Dr Christel Croft, comments: “The expo has provided a great platform to showcase the Hycolene™ commercialisation project and the sustainable benefits this technology offers with Europe’s key designers, buyers and suppliers in the very home of automotive manufacturing in southern Germany - Stuttgart.”

Luxus has as part of a consortium recently secured a €1.4m investment co-funded by the EU Eco-Innovation initiative. Its members are injection moulding company IAC for materials trials, twin screw manufacturer Coperion for technical support and Jaguar Land Rover offering end user guidance.

The project will enable Luxus to make a step change in the development of its Hycolene™ range of lightweight (PP) compounds, while also encouraging its wider adoption by Europe’s automotive manufacturers.

Please see image attached of Dr Christel Croft, Project Manager, Luxus

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Luxus Shows Next Generation Sustainable Thermoplastic (PP) Lightweight Materials At Auto Interior Expo 2015
~~16th June 2015

UK based technical compounder and recycler Luxus, will be showing on stand (A5126) the progress it’s made on the road towards delivering next generation lightweight and sustainable materials to drive tomorrow’s auto interior innovation - the result is Hycolene™ a new sustainable lightweight thermoplastic (PP) range.

Luxus has as part of a consortium recently secured €1.4m investment co-funded by the Eco-innovation initiative of the EU for its Recyclite project ( The aim is to commercialise the development of its Hycolene range of lightweight (PP) compounds with up to 60 per cent recycled content to target’s Europe’s class ‘A’ automotive interior trim market.

Luxus will be collaborating on the commercialisation project with twin screw manufacturer Coperion to help with complex processing, tier 1 moulding supplier IAC for materials trials and Jaguar Land Rover. The automotive manufacturer will be providing end user guidance on the project to ensure the technical requirements are met, allowing exploitation of this technology across future automotive industry applications.

Robert Crow, Group Leader , Materials Innovation at Jaguar Land Rover described the Recyclite project as, “A ‘double win’ because the use of recycled material and lower weight of the compounds are both beneficial in Jaguar Land Rover’s programme for reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles.”

Project Manager, Dr Christel Croft at Luxus will be presenting a seminar on the Recyclite project as part of the Interiors Innovation and Design Forum, ‘High performance lightweight recycled polypropylene materials for tomorrow’s auto interiors’ at 11.45am, on Thursday 18th June 2015 at the Auto Interiors Expo 2015.

The key technical benefits of the Hycolene range are as follows:

• Significant weight reduction - up to 12% per part
• Increased recycled content – up to 60% per part
• Excellent stiffness/impact balance and improved scratch resistance
• Similar dimensions – a drop-in solution and colour matching

Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus explains: “We are pleased that the commercial potential of our Hycolene range has been recognised by the EU. This investment has enable us to effectively make a fundamental step change in our technology as we aim to replace our filled compounds with next generation reinforcing additives.

“These additives offer excellent tensile properties that don’t detract from the appearance of the moulded compound, yet their adoption reduces weight by up to 12 per cent per part and significantly improves scratch resistance to meet industry standards.

“The new grades will also offer a lower density than is currently provided, while still delivering up to 60 per cent recycled PP. The result of all this is that tier 1 moulding suppliers will be able to produce more parts per tonne of the mineral as they will benefit from a much faster cycle time. This will offset the slightly higher price these new advanced grades will require.”

Luxus is preparing a patent application for the new advanced polymer technology process. Its capacity however, to produce these compounds will be limited by access to local sources of recyclate PP. So in the future it intends to license its IP of formulations and knowledge to other selected compounders in the EU who have access source assured PP recyclate locally.

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Staff and Managing Director, Peter Atterby at Louth based plastics compounder and recycler Luxus, recently presented a cheque for £500 to St Andrew’s Hospice representative, Lucy Wood.
The Grimsby based charity cares for people with life limiting illnesses in North East Lincolnshire ( The funds were raised by staff thanks to a raffle held at the company’s 50th anniversary celebration at the Best Western Oaklands Hall Hotel in Laceby, Lincolnshire earlier this year.
Sarah Coggle, sales office manager, Luxus, explains: "We decided to do something for a local charity and St Andrew's Hospice was chosen by a colleague who has had some involvement with them. The charity was a popular choice and the raffle went down very well, especially the prize of a day off work.
"We'd also like to thank the local businesses who donated prizes. There were many good items on offer, including a meat voucher and a bike donated by J C Cook. We would also like to say thank you to our staff for their support. The hospice touches so many people's lives; it is such a vital facility."

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