On March 18th the World observed its second annual recycling day, marked by numerous events in cities and countries. Awareness of the need to recycle is on the rise, especially amongst millennials and Gen Z, as demonstrated by the “Trashtag Challenge”. But with the recent ban on import by China, many developed nations struggle to manage their plastic waste.
In this issue of our digest, we feature some promising innovations that can help solve this problem. Login with your Ubuntoo account and search for recycle or apply the recycle filter in the Solutions tab. Of course, you can also just click the links in this newsletter.
Last week we added 25 new innovations to our database, taking the total to over 500 solutions. Thank you to our users that recommended solutions and nominated members to Ubuntoo. Our community is approaching 1,000 changemakers and growing by the day.
Peter & Venky
Chemical Recycling of Mixed waste
One of the biggest challenges for the recycling industry is dealing with mixed plastic waste streams, especially the low value plastics that cannot be recycled mechanically. Chemical recycling is a growing area of focus, since it can deal with a variety of wastes in a single process. Solutions on Ubuntoo include ready now technologies like Plastic Energy, pilot projects like ChemPet by Garbo, to research projects like the one at the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath. Switzerland-based Gr3n has received a lot of attention of late with their use of microwave technology in chemical recycling.
While Pyrolysis is often used to transform waste into fuels, there are many variations to this technology that enhance its effectiveness and applicability. For example, Enval is scaling up their microwave-induced pyrolysis process for use on multi-material packaging. BioBTX is in the pilot stage with their Cascading Catalytic Pyrolysis process. And Agilyx focuses on modular low cost – high utility pyrolysis systems.
Forum discussion on Recycling
We would love your views on the topic of recycling, especially given the recent flurry of articles in the US that paint a doom and gloom picture. You can join the conversation here: journalists-keep-on-writing-about-how-broken-us-recycling-is-but-what-are-the-solutions?
Here is a selection of news articles that caught our attention last week:
In case you have not seen this documentary yet: “Wasteland”, by Brazilian artist Vic Muniz is an absolute masterpiece. It has even a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. You will find the trailer here.
"In Africa we have a concept known as ubuntu, based upon the recognition that we are only people because of other people" – Nelson Mandela