Recent regulations in Europe and elsewhere are putting pressure on companies to increase the percentage of recycled plastic content in their end products. However, the recycle stream is often contaminated or contains mixed plastic materials, making it difficult to close the loop using conventional mechanical recycling. The good news is that a variety of chemical recycling technologies are emerging that can overcome this challenge. They complement mechanical recycling to create the possibility of a truly circular plastic economy.
In this issue of your Ubuntoo digest, we spotlight chemical recycling technologies that address the problem of plastic waste. Just use your Ubuntoo login to browse our solutions by entering keywords into the search bar or click on the links below.
Peter & Venky
Chemical Recycling Technologies
Any plastic recycling process that changes the molecular composition of the recycle stream to produce usable feedstock can be called chemical recycling. The range of technologies is more like a continuum - at one end they eliminate impurities to recover virgin quality polymers, in between are those that break down polymers to their individual monomers, and at the other end are processes that convert waste plastics into base hydrocarbons or petrochemicals that can be used as fuels or reconstituted into new plastics.
There is no one size fits all solution, and each one has its pros and cons depending on the end use and local techno-commercial considerations. At Ubuntoo, we feature a wide range of chemical recycling solutions. Here is a sample of technologies that you can find on our solutions database.
For all the innovators and entrepreneurs out there, this is your last chance to apply for the2019 Plastic Innovation Challenge by The Kloster Forum and Think Beyond Plastics. Entries are accepted only till April 30.
Think Beyond Plastic is also accepting applications for its 2019 Accelerator class.
Chemical Recycling of Plastic: Waste No More? An excellent article by Sustainable Brands that describes different types of chemical recycling and profiles a few companies that are innovating in this space.
TOMRA E-Book:TOMRA Sorting Recycling has published an e-book which it said shows that it is technically possible and economically worthwhile to produce goods from 100% recycled plastic.
Closed Loop Partners has come out with an excellent report that explores a variety of technologies to recycle plastics. It profiles 60 companies around the world, and provides hope that the future of plastic recycling is bright. You can download the report for free from their website by clicking this link - Accelerating Circular Supply Chains for Plastics."
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
– Fred Rogers, Television Personality