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The Recycling Partnership publishes their “Impact Report 2022.”


The organization’s dedication to communities, MRFs, material makers, brands, retailers, and people is covered in the report.

The Recycling Partnership, based in Falls Church, Virginia, has published its “2022 Impact Report,” which describes its interactions with local governments, material recovery facilities (MRFs), manufacturers of raw materials, brands and retailers, and individuals. The report shows a potential system in which:

-Every household is able to recycle,
-everyone is aware of the benefits of recycling,
-MRFs are fully modernized,
-stakeholders collaborate to remove material-specific barriers to recycling,
-packaging that enters the system is made to be recyclable or is on the road to being recyclable,
-recycling has a reliable public-private funding source based on wise policy.

The Recycling Partnership has invested $95 million to date, generating $241 million in overall value creation, which includes the following:

-$163 million in capital investments,
-$19 million in technical support provided to cities and states,
-$24 million in new recyclables collected,
-$16 million in carbon savings,
-$13 million in averted disposal expenses,
-$6 million in member consulting were all made in the recycling sector.

Community-based problem-solving

The Partnership is providing support to the state of Michigan, which set the target of raising its overall recycling rate from 14 percent in 2019 to 45 percent in 2030. In order to increase the quantity and quality of waste collected, the Partnership has offered assistance through donations such recycling carts for curbside collection, improved drop-off recycling, improved MRF operations, and the Feet on the Street initiative. In the first year of this partnership, pollution in curbside collection programs was decreased by 35%, contamination in drop-off programs by 26%, and participation increased by 10% in the majority of the affected areas.

The Partnership concentrated their efforts in Orlando, Florida, on improving recycling accessibility for multifamily buildings, which according to the group are among the most underserved in the country. A full-time city staffer was hired to supervise the multifamily recycling project thanks to a grant given to the city by the Partnership. In the first year of this four-year programme, 21,500 multifamily units received recycling services from the city. In the first year of the initiative, more recyclables were diverted from landfills than ever before because to increased participation in the city’s recycling program.


Nearly 200,000 free curbside recycling carts were given to city residents as part of a $10 million public-private partnership between Baltimore and The Recycling Partnership. According to the research, this is the largest alliance to date to modernize recycling, enabling safer and more effective collection while lowering waste in waterways. More than 40 million new value recyclables will be produced each year as a result of a projected 80 percent increase in recovered recyclables.

The Recycling Inclusion Fund, a special funding source established by The Partnership, is mentioned in the report. This fund is focused on transforming the recycling sector through research, infrastructure development, and leadership opportunities for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.

Using MRFs to solve

To combat aluminum can sorting challenges, The Partnership developed an aluminum beverage can capture MRF grant program to invest in eddy-current separators, robotic sorters, other equipment and process enhancements to collect more cans throughout the sortation process. In 2021, five grants total were given to MRFs around the country.

The research estimates that 71 million aluminum cans will be recycled annually as a result of the equipment installed at MRFs from the five 2021 can capture awards. The Can Manufacturers Institute’s impact calculator estimates that this will result in energy savings that could power more than 28 million American households for an hour and an additional $1.15 million in revenue for the country’s recycling system.


Since its establishment in July 2020, the Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition has awarded more than $6 million in grants for community outreach initiatives and activities aimed at educating consumers. These funding, the paper claims, will touch approximately 18 million Americans and boost curbside polypropylene recycling access for roughly 7 percent of U.S. households.

Cooperating with suppliers of materials

Three coalitions focused on recycling certain materials are led by the Partnership: the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) Recycling Coalition, founded in 2022, the Film and Flexibles Recycling Coalition, and the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition. According to the organization, enhancing the recyclability of one type of material benefits the entire system by increasing the amount of material recovered and lowering contamination.


Due to a contamination rate of almost 40% in its curbside recycling program, Orange County, Florida, started working with The Partnership. The program produced 40 million pounds of recyclables yearly, increased material value by 23%, and reduced contamination by 29%. From 2020 to 2021, the county’s MRFs processed 10 times as much material. According to the research, when implemented countywide, the program with the county has the potential to recover $3.6 million in recycled material value.

Problem-solving with merchants and brands


In August 2021, The Partnership began the public comment period for The Residential Recyclability Framework, a component of The Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity for Packaging that offers users a step-by-step procedure to assess packaging recyclability. More than 750 individual comments from 70 organizations were sent to the Partnership, and they were combined to create the Circular Packaging Assessment Tool, an interactive version of the framework.

Plastic IQ, a free digital strategy-building tool that enables American businesses to find methods to make their packaging more circular, is another technology included in the report. Plastic IQ rates the efficacy of business tactics and gives users a thorough explanation of the findings. In its first year, Plastic IQ reportedly attracted 1,000 new users.


Collaborating with others to find solutions

The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact is being established by the Partnership. The Center will concentrate on extending research on recycling-related barriers and attitudes, testing improvements to recycling behavior, and developing a playbook and accompanying online platform to make key findings and best practices publicly accessible.

The paper ends with a three-year plan aimed at advancing future circular packaging solutions and modernizing the American recycling system.


Other objectives are:

-collection and recovery of more than 1 billion pounds of new recyclables annually;

-enhanced customer participation and trust in recycling, as well as improved claims about recyclability and labeling;

-novel, systematic, scalable methods for making currently difficult-to-recycle materials recyclable;

-the implementation of sensible and effective policies that enhance the functionality of the recycling system; and

-thousands of packages being made recyclable and tens of millions of pounds of packaging being reduced thanks to better designs.

Launch of a web marketplace for recycled plastics by Circular

The business seeks to provide effective online trade of eco-friendly commodities.

A new approach to purchase and trade sustainable commodities at scale has been introduced by Palo Alto, California’s Circular.co, with an initial focus on recycled plastics, through the debut of its full-service digital platform. According to the firm, the platform offers effective online trade, easily available data, and transparent economics to assist key sectors in their evolution toward a more sustainable future. By handling all of its clients’ sourcing, vetting, matching, contracting, shipping, and invoicing, Circular’s digital infrastructure solutions are intended to streamline supply chain operations. With a comprehensive guarantee and a professional concierge to help with the entire transaction, buyers and sellers may trade with confidence.

According to Ian Arthurs, founder and CEO of Circular, “Circular’s focus is on the larger economic and environmental picture behind enabling brands and significant manufacturers acquire the materials they need to accomplish sustainability goals.” The sector has lacked the infrastructure and economic clarity to allow more recovery and circularity, yet there is more than enough [recyclable] material available to fulfill demand.

According to Aidan Madigan-Curtis, partner at Eclipse Ventures and member of Circular’s board, “Circular picked recycled plastics to start because of the scope of opportunity and difficulty this business confronts.” “Over 380 million tons of virgin plastic are produced year, and recycling rates worldwide are still just around 9%, lately falling to sub 5% in the United States. Oceans of trash are produced as a result, and our bloodstreams are pumped with around 2 gigatons of carbon dioxide annually.

According to Madigan-Curtis, “The plastics business is crucial to the world economy and obviously has to evolve responsibly as quickly as feasible.” “It’s inevitable that the digital tools needed to support this sustainable transformation will apply to the plastic sector; our purpose is to speed up the process.”

Adam Lowry, the creator of Method and Ripple Foods, was a notable early user of sustainable packaging and is aware of the difficulties businesses encounter when trying to find high-quality recycled material.

“We commend large companies for adopting environmental objectives to lessen their reliance on virgin plastic. The moment has come to follow through on those commitments, according to Lowry. “With the economy doing well, recyclers are investing in greater capacity, and Circular’s digital platform offers more alternatives to buyers and sellers, facilitating trading. I’m certain we have the proper ingredients for meaningful change for the first time in more than ten years.

“By giving a clear digital trade experience, brands and manufacturers can now confidently acquire sustainable materials at scale,” adds Arthurs. “This generates a clear economic opportunity which in turn promotes innovation to create more supply, more liquidity and eventually higher circularity, less waste and less C02. The ultimate objective of Circular is to create a true win-win situation by fusing the greatest technology with the realities of how plastic is purchased.

Circular believes its leadership team is well positioned to execute on its objectives, having decades of technological platform experience from the likes of Google, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Bloomberg, Snap and Medium. Complementing that, Arthurs established a deep branch of senior industry consultants, including Lowry and executives in the recycling and manufacturing areas. Circular added Eclipse Ventures as their lead investor to complete the team. Eclipse Ventures is a leading venture capital firm that supports business owners in creating great businesses that improve the productivity, resilience, and profitability of physical industries. Manufacturing, supply chains, and logistics are just a few of the physical industries that may benefit from the combination’s unmatched depth of knowledge in digitization.

Circular and Eclipse have been researching, developing, and testing the online marketplace with buyers and sellers over the past 12 months. With genuine scalability for international customers and sellers, Circular.co is finally ready to launch.

BASF is bringing reciChain to a new province in Canada.

The initiative brings together stakeholders of the plastics value chain to provide recycled plastic circularity, tracking, and sorting.

BASF has announced that its reciChain initiative would be expanded to Alberta, Canada. The initiative is a technology-enabled ecosystem that brings together participants of the plastics value chain to allow recycled plastic circularity, monitoring, and sorting.

Several firms, including Cascades, Layfield, London Drugs, Nova Chemicals, Orion Plastics, [Re] Waste, and Waste & Recycling Services from Calgary and Edmonton, cooperated to extend the program in Alberta, according to a press release from BASF.

The initiative brings together stakeholders of the plastics value chain to provide recycled plastic circularity, tracking, and sorting.

BASF has announced that its reciChain initiative would be expanded to Alberta, Canada. The initiative is a technology-enabled ecosystem that brings together participants of the plastics value chain to allow recycled plastic circularity, monitoring, and sorting.

Several firms, including Cascades, Layfield, London Drugs, Nova Chemicals, Orion Plastics, [Re] Waste, and Waste & Recycling Services from Calgary and Edmonton, cooperated to extend the program in Alberta, according to a press release from BASF.

“Plastics have been shown to be beneficial in a variety of applications, including food preservation, automobile light-weighting, medical equipment, and building insulation, to name a few. Plastic waste, on the other hand, is a big global issue, according to Apala Mukherjee, president of BASF Canada, situated in Mississauga, Ontario. “We need to establish a more circular economy for plastics via innovation and collaboration across the value chain to overcome this environmental challenge.” This is precisely what reciChain brings to the table.”

According to BASF, the reciChain pilot initiative began in Brazil and was then expanded to British Columbia, Canada. The British Columbia pilot, according to the corporation, showed circularity by tracing items’ life cycles from pellet to pellet.

reciChain is extending to Alberta to perform the next part of the project, which BASF claims will get the solution to a semicommercial phase, with the help of Alberta Innovates, a provincial government entity charged with encouraging innovation in the province.

Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates, states, “Creating a cleaner world starts at the local level in communities all around the country and right here in Alberta.” “Innovative schemes like reciChain are transforming the plastic recycling industry. Alberta Innovates is thrilled to support this collaboration and looks forward to the program’s outcomes.”

The reciChain program consists of two technological components: a physical tracer that identifies and follows key plastic features throughout the value chain to enable the connection of plastic to a digital twin, and a blockchain marketplace that creates and translates the digital twin to provide a secure, auditable transfer of ownership while also assigning incentives to encourage participation and offset costs.

Among the objectives of the program are the following:

-decreasing overall pollution levels and boosting the province’s recyclability;

-rising need for recyclability solutions for plastics;

-promoting recycled content auditability in support of expanded producer responsibility schemes; and

-Changing customer perceptions of the usage of virgin plastics in the province while also promoting brand loyalty among provincial enterprises.

Changes in package design are influenced by a number of factors.

Extended producer responsibility systems in Europe are pushing packaging design modifications, according to several brand owners and an institute.

Extending producer responsibility (EPR) laws for packaging is becoming more common in states across the country. Maine and Oregon lawmakers enacted EPR legislation in 2021, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis just signed House Bill 22-1355 into law, which establishes a statewide recycling system with the goal of increasing the state’s recycling rates for plastic, metal, glass, and paper. Several more EPR laws have also been submitted in other states.

While just three states have implemented packaging EPR laws to far, packaging EPR systems have operated in parts of Europe for more than 30 years. Multinational consumer brand corporations may give EPR success stories that U.S. brands can benefit from when more EPR bills are proposed in this country, thanks to Europe’s extensive experience of EPR systems for packaging.

In response to EPR, certain European consumer businesses have redesigned packaging to be reusable, recyclable, created with recycled content, and circular, according to the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute (PSI). PSI, along with representatives from a European institute and several consumer brands, presented a webinar titled EPR Masterclass – EPR Packaging Redesign Success Stories, in which they shared a few examples of how brands have responded to EPR in Europe and what factors influenced them the most to change packaging design to make it more recyclable.

Designed specifically for recyclers

Kennisinstituut Duurzaam Verpakken  (KIDV) strives to decrease the environmental effect of packaging throughout the whole packaging value chain. The institution collaborates with businesses to give information and resources to help them implement more environmentally friendly packaging.

Karen van de Stadt, KIDV’s sustainable packaging expert, mentioned during the webinar that the institute also provides EPR advice to businesses.

The following four incentives, according to Van de Stadt, motivate firms to create recyclable packaging in Europe:

business sustainability goals; plastic pacts; marketing and messaging about sustainable measures made; and

eco-modulation is a method of determining and structuring EPR fees based on environmental concerns and policy objectives in order to improve packaging recyclability and material efficiency.

Plastics pacts, such as the U.S. Plastics Pact, the European Plastics Pact, and the Plastics Pact Network, she added, set targets for firms to meet in order to hold them accountable for making long-term adjustments to their package designs. She went on to say that corporate sustainability objectives, as well as information about sustainable packaging design measures made by corporations, hold organizations accountable for sticking to their package design plans. Furthermore, she stated that some firms are influenced by eco-modulation and costs contained in EPR systems to modify their package designs; nonetheless, she stated that it appears to have less of an impact.

Taking the initiative

Three firms discussed their efforts in Europe in response to EPR and package design for recyclability.

PepsiCo’s head of environmental policy, Gabriella Gabelli, said, “EPR has been and will continue to be essential in coordinating and making recycling operational.”

PepsiCo, based in Purchase, New York, is working toward a goal of having all of its packaging be recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, or reusable by 2025. By 2030, the corporation wants to cut the quantity of virgin plastic used in its nonrenewable sources by half across its whole portfolio.

The Consumer Goods Forum’s “Guiding Principles for the Ecomodulation of EPR Fees for Packaging,” which was announced in February, was also supported and assisted with, according to Gabelli.

Although the firm has had success with enhancing the appearance of its beverage packaging, Gabelli noted that developing food packaging, such as for its Walkers Crisps brand, is a little more difficult. To achieve good product quality, she stated that the product line required “severe protection” against oxygen, moisture, and UV radiation. She stated that the firm is aiming to optimize the usage of polypropylene in the chip bag in order to produce higher-quality recyclate.

EPR programs are pushing brand owners to design packaging to boost recyclability and impact recycling infrastructure, according to Feliks Bezati, global circular packaging director of McLean, Virginia-based Mars Inc.

“We have a say because of the EPR fees we pay,” he explained. “When it comes to the recycling business, we have a lot of clout.” The more we utilize recycled materials, the higher the demand for them becomes. As a result, a handful of us [companies] have already pledged to utilize recycled materials.”

Mars has pledged to utilize 30 percent recyclable material in its packaging by 2025, according to Bezati. He also stated that the firm intends to change its portfolio in the future to include largely monomaterial packaging as a strategy to improve recyclability.

In addition, in reaction to plastic tariffs in some European nations, some corporations, such as Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, are migrating from virgin plastic to paper packaging or packaging that uses postconsumer resin.

“If there is a plastic tax, you may offset that by utilizing recycled materials or altogether altering your material,” said Jürgen Dornheim, Procter & Gamble’s head of corporate packaging innovation and sustainability. Procter & Gamble, for example, has switched from low-density polyethylene packaging to paper packaging for certain of its Always feminine hygiene products, he added.

He came to the conclusion that top-level brand managers should make adjustments to packaging design. “Change begins with decision-making,” Dornheim explained. “This is a decision that top management must make.”

Single-use plastics will be phased out by the US Department of Agriculture.

In an order signed by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland on June 8 to coincide with World Ocean Day, the US Department of the Interior stated that single-use plastic items and packaging will be phased out on public lands by 2032.

Secretary’s Order 3407 aims to reduce single-use plastic product procurement, sale, and distribution on Interior Department-managed land, including national parks, and is part of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14057, which directs federal agencies to reduce waste and support markets for recycled products.

“The Interior Department has a responsibility to take the lead in decreasing the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems and climate,” adds Haaland. “We are well positioned to do better for our Earth as stewards of the nation’s public lands, including national parks and national wildlife refuges, and as the agency responsible for the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats.”

“Today’s order will ensure that the department’s sustainability goals include aggressive action on phasing out single-use plastic products as we attempt to maintain our natural environment and the communities that surround it,” Haaland concludes.

The directive instructs the Interior Department to seek non-hazardous, ecologically preferable alternatives to single-use plastics, such as compostable or biodegradable materials or materials that are 100 percent recycled. Food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups, cutlery, and disposable plastic bags are examples of single-use plastic products.

The agency claims that fewer than ten percent of all plastic generated has ever been recycled, and that recycling rates are not growing. Plastics recycling rates in 2018 were under 9%, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and fewer than 5% in 2021, according to a report from the NGO Last Beach Cleanup and Beyond Plastics, an environmental project linked with Bennington College.

Many options are being considered by the Interior Department to “account for the heterogeneity of geographic locations and social environment in which departmental installations operate.” It states that single-use bags can be replaced with paper, bioplastic, or composite bags; single-use bottles can be replaced with bio-based plastic, glass, aluminum, or laminated cartons; and single-use food packaging can be replaced with comparable material.

Earning a Reputation at the BIR Convention

According to the BIR president, it is up to recyclers and merchants to assist depict the business in a favorable light.

In a general assembly address at the BIR’s World Recycling Convention in late May in Barcelona, the president of the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) asked fellow members to “challenge misconceptions about what we do” to help clarify the resource and emissions savings achieved by recycling.

“We have allowed conventional ideas about the business to dominate over the years, and we have sold ourselves short in terms of our importance,” said BIR President Tom Bird during the occasion. “Now, more than ever, we as an industry must communicate to the world the critical role we play in preventing climate change and the environmental damage caused by the mining of fundamental raw materials.”

“We must not sleepwalk into even more restricted legislation,” Bird stressed. A genuinely global circular economy requires worldwide unrestricted commerce in recycled raw materials.”

Bird has previously warned of the “disastrous” repercussions of ideas for a considerably tighter EU Waste Shipment Regulation, which he claimed would damage not only Europe’s exporters but also importing enterprises all over the world. “This isn’t just a European issue; it’s occurring all throughout the world,” he explained.

“I would encourage you all to participate in this conversation, to tell the truth about our industry’s great talents and to confront misunderstandings about what we do,” Bird concluded. If we are to succeed, we must maintain our unity of purpose and voice.”

Bird remarked that 2021 delivered “strong trade conditions throughout the year as the globe struggled to return to some type of normalcy,” as he reviewed market developments. Unfortunately, he said, that sense of normalcy was “short-lived,” owing to the disastrous economic and political consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Global uncertainties, according to BIR Treasurer Andy Wahl of Atlanta-based TAV Holdings Inc., contributed to the world recycling organization’s decision to adopt a “prudent and conservative” budget for 2022, with a predicted deficit slightly higher than that of 2021.

Members’ ongoing support and the BIR secretariat’s care had guaranteed that expenditures were kept under control and membership numbers were maintained, according to Wahl. On a similar issue, 88 new member firms or national organizations joined the BIR since June of last year were formally ratified during the General Assembly in Barcelona. That figure was hailed by Bird as “simply excellent.”

The BIR’s financial statement for 2021 and budget plan for 2022, as well as an increase in membership dues for fiscal year 2023, all obtained approval from the General Assembly. It will be the first time since 2015 that dues have been raised.

By the end of the year, Wahl predicted a more positive picture, fuelled in part by what he called “outstanding” attendance figures for the Barcelona Convention: 1,300 people from more than 600 firms from more than 60 countries.

A few moments of quiet were observed during the General Assembly to commemorate the recent deaths of former BIR President Heinz de Fries and Ferrous Division board member Frank Heukeshoven. Bird stated that both will be deeply missed.

The BIR World Recycling Convention 2022 was held in Barcelona from May 22 to 25.

KBR invests $100 million in Mura Technology.

According to Mura, the money would be used to combat the climatic effect of plastic waste.

Mura Technology, a London-based plastics recycling technology producer, has announced an equity investment from Houston-based science, technology, and engineering firm KBR. Mura will be able to launch many new initiatives with the $100 million investment, removing more than 1 million metric tons of plastic from global waste sources.

Mura has been working with KBR, its only global license partner, since 2021, according to the company. A representative from KBR management will join Mura’s board of directors in addition to the investment to assist develop the company’s business plan.

“By combining Mura’s game-changing Hydro-PRT technology with KBR’s scalable engineering and licensing experience, we’ve created a world-leading collaboration in advanced plastics recycling,” says Steve Mahon, Mura Technology’s chief resource officer. “Plastic pollution is a global concern that will require millions of metric tons of sophisticated recycling to overcome.”

Mura’s mission is to develop and deliver projects with strong risk-return profiles that inspire investor confidence, and cooperation with partners like KBR will help us do so as swiftly and efficiently as feasible.”

Mura and KBR have joined their experience and reach to provide Mura’s Hydro-PRT (hydrothermal plastic recycling technology) to worldwide markets, allowing future projects to be delivered faster and with less risk.

Mura claims that demand for this technology is continuing to rise, and it has now signed a licensing arrangement with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. for 2021, as well as strategic relationships with Dow and Chevron Phillips Chemical Corp.

Mura and its licensees want to develop facilities all over the world, with the first one set to open in Teesside, England, by the end of 2022. Following that, locations in the United States and Germany will begin building in the coming months. More facilities are in the works for Europe and Asia, including a partnership with LG Chem in South Korea that will initially facilitate the recycling of 25,000 metric tons of plastic garbage.

Every year, an estimated 300 million metric tons of plastic trash is produced, with single-use plastics accounting for half of that. Furthermore, every year, the extraction of fossil fuels and transportation to plastic production facilities releases 12.5 to 13.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.

Mura says the Hydro-PRT is capable of recycling end-of-life plastic, and converting mixed plastic streams into fossil-replacement oils and chemicals. This enables plastic waste to be upgraded into new plastics and other products. There is no anticipated limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled, and Mura’s supercritical water technology within the process makes it scalable.   

“Building on our strong partnership of collaboration and innovation, we are very excited to announce our expanded investment in Mura,” Stuart Bradie, KBR president and CEO. “With a strategic approach to commercializing and scaling its proprietary, differentiated plastics recycling solution, Mura is very well positioned for profitable growth and value creation as the plastics circular economy develops and matures.” 

BIR Convention: Plastic Supply Issues

Plastic recyclers are struggling to satisfy orders, despite being grateful for the increased demand.

Plastics recyclers are benefiting from “huge demand and extraordinarily high pricing,” but they are having trouble finding enough feedstock to keep up with this “undoubted boom moment.”

Max Craipeau of Singapore-based Greencore Resources Ltd., who also chairs the Bureau of International Recycling’s Plastic Committee, made this discovery (BIR). The group convened in late May during the BIR World Recycling Convention in Barcelona.

More investment in the plastic scrap upstream collection, sorting, grinding, and washing infrastructure, according to Steve Wong of Hong Kong-based Fukutomi Recycling Ltd., who is also executive president of the China Sustainable Plastics Association. “Most factories in the Far East run at less than 20% of their capacity,” he claimed.

Increased shipping costs, according to Craipeau, are “actually constraining the flow of material globally.” A 40-foot container traveling from Asia to Europe or the United States cost roughly $2,500 two years ago, but today costs around $15,000, he said.

He mentioned the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, rising energy prices, inflation, and a labor shortage as some of the main problems facing the plastics recycling industry.

Doug Woodring, founder and managing director of the Ocean Recovery Alliance, spoke about an effort aimed at increasing worldwide flows of high-quality recycled plastics. The Rebound Plastic Exchange, for which he serves as lead expert, is set to launch in late August.

According to Woodring, the platform would strive to be a transparent worldwide trade platform that facilitates bale, pellet, and flakes movements through “certification, verification, and trust.”

Previously, ministries and governments had received unfavorable press about the trade in used plastics and did not want to be “caught on the wrong side of the narrative,” according to Craipeau. The Exchange will try to build their confidence in global trade by implementing standardized facility inspection protocols and using well-known, global certification bodies, while also driving the innovation and investment required to boost circularity and propel the current global plastics recycling rate beyond its estimated 10% rate.

Woodring also noted a recurrent difficulty as a scarcity of feedstock, claiming that $56 billion in plastics processing infrastructure investment is necessary over the next five years, rising to $400 billion by 2040.

“Many, many big brands are now finally trying to get more recycled content into their goods,” Woodring said, citing Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Ikea, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever as examples of companies who are doing so. However, he told convention attendees that this was proving to be “a huge difficulty” because the requisite supply chains were not in place and “you can’t locate the feedstock.”

According to Woodring’s presentation, the recycled material industry is expected to rise by roughly 30% by 2025, from current levels of $45.6 billion. “For those of you in the recycling industry, this is a fantastic opportunity,” he remarked. However, he added, until the essential infrastructural investments are completed, the yearly shortfall of recycled material would be at least 6 million metric tons.

“We need uniformity at the collection level as well,” Sally Houghton of The Plastic Recycling Corp. of California said, referring to the Rebound Plastic Exchange’s focus on achieving consistency in inspection and quality.

The Exchange initiative, according to Natalia Cruz of Ferromolins SL in Spain, is “a very beneficial instrument” for those firms looking for solutions to circular economy difficulties.

The BIR World Recycling Convention 2022 was held in Barcelona from May 22 to 25.

PET availability is limited, and costs are growing.

One reprocessor claims that bale quality has not improved despite record-high PET bale pricing.

Scrap availability is tight, according to a bottle-to-bottle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) reprocessor in the Midwest, with bale prices at record highs as of the beginning of May. She claims that recycled-content mandates in the European Union are largely to blame for the spike in demand and pricing.

“The European market is currently very tight, which is affecting any imports into the United States as product is redirected to Europe, where price is higher than in the United States,” says the PET reclaimer.

Despite the record-high bale prices, she claims that her company’s bale yield has barely improved.

Demand for recycled PET has pushed its price higher than that of virgin PET, which is also at record highs, according to the recycler.

“PET has risen,” a thermoplastic recycler on the West Coast adds, “but PE/PP (polyethylene/polypropylene) has held its own beautifully.”

He also mentions that the supply of injection-grade high-density polyethylene (HDPE) has become scarce.

“There is concern that with such high inflation, demand for items will have to drop down at some point,” says a source on the West Coast. “On the other hand, time will tell.” When end customers believe they will be able to obtain cheaper material in the near future, I believe they will buy less or only what they require to keep going.”

Meanwhile, he claims that domestic demand is strong, with regrind and recycled pellets selling well.

The limited supply is due in part to poor collection rates in the United States. According to the “2020 U.S. Post-consumer Plastic Recycling Data Report,” which was sponsored by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the Foundation for Plastic Recycling, The Recycling Partnership, and the U.S. Plastics Pact, most major categories of plastics recovered for recycling in 2020, the most recent year for which data are available, decreased compared to 2019.

In 2020, the PET bottle recycling rate dipped 1.2 percentage points to 27.1 percent, while the HDPE bottle recycling rate dropped 2.1 percentage points to 28.8%.

In a news release announcing the report’s availability, Steve Alexander, president and CEO of the Washington-based APR, said, “We need greater supply.” “Our industry is confronted with major problems that require rapid attention. We must concentrate our efforts on technologies that are now operational. Mechanical recyclers have the potential to process more material, but there isn’t enough of it to meet demand for postconsumer resin right now. Expanding and streamlining recycling collection operations, decreasing contamination through design for recyclability, and reducing labeling confusion should all be top concerns.”

The analysis “shows that we need investment in the US recycling system to enhance the recycling rate for all commodities, including plastics,” says Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership in Falls Church, Virginia.

In addition to supply, transportation is tough to come by, and prices are high, according to the Midwest reprocessor, in part due to record fuel prices. “Even though we’re getting record amounts of requests from new freight vendors, we’re scheduling loads further in advance and paying more.”

She claims that transportation into Canada is tough to get and that it is now two to three times as expensive as it was six months ago.

The PET reprocessor claims that “bulk transportation is substantially tighter.”

Transportation concerns, according to a recycler on the West Coast, have alleviated somewhat. “Rates aren’t as low as we’d like,” he says, but availability has improved as the “frenzied speed of demand on the trucking end of things has slowed down a little.”

Plastic recycling is the focus of a new fund.

Singapore’s Alliance to End Plastic Waste and Switzerland’s Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) have revealed their plans to develop a circular plastic fund.

The fund will seek $500 million from institutional and other investors to support scalable solutions to remove plastic waste from the environment, enhance recycling, and accelerate the global transition to a circular economy for the plastic value chain, according to the Alliance. “The Alliance will serve as a cornerstone investor in the fund,” according to the Alliance.

“Our goal in cooperating with Lombard Odier on a circular plastic strategy is to increase investments in solutions that can help stop plastic waste and contribute to a circular economy,” says Jacob Duer, the Alliance’s president and CEO. “The plan integrates the plastic value chain’s collective intellect with money, bringing much-needed answers to scale.” I’m certain that this will serve to draw financial market attention to the investment potential that plastic circularity represents, as well as accelerate different sources of funding for investments in circular waste solutions.”

“Is approach creates a strong investment opportunity,” says Jean-Pascal Porcherot, co-head of LOIM. It will look for opportunities across the private equity spectrum, including direct and co-investment partnerships, with the goal of reducing plastic waste challenges around the world while delivering attractive financial returns and long-term sustainability.”

The Alliance has given LOIM the task of “building and managing the fund with the goal of achieving beneficial environmental, social, and economic impact while generating attractive financial returns,” according to the Alliance.

According to the group, the move to a circular value chain for plastic packaging represents a possible $1 trillion worldwide economic opportunity by 2030, based on “industry estimations.”

Based on “industry estimates,” the group claims that moving to a circular value chain for plastic packaging might result in a $1 trillion global economic opportunity by 2030.

The new fund will focus on infrastructure for collecting and sorting, technology-enabled recycling infrastructure, and design solutions for increased plastic durability, reuse, and recyclability. According to the Alliance, “it will also attempt to encourage innovation in plastic chemistry and production that can simplify or make end-of-life treatment easier or more effective.”

“The systemic transformation required to enable a plastic circular economy includes societal, infrastructure, and technology advances,” says Jim Fitterling, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company in the United States and chair of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. This strategy gives a significant opportunity to firmly place the plastic waste management ecosystem on institutional investors’ agendas in order to speed the transition to a global plastic circular economy.”

6 New Technologies and Initiatives in Plastic Recycling

We generally do not perform well enough to recycle. We can say this especially when it comes to plastic recycling. Less than 10 percent of the plastic we use is recycled, and there is an estimated 100 million tons of plastic in the oceans worldwide. We currently have a linear economy where plastics are produced, used and disposed of. However, the goal of recycling innovation is to achieve a circular economy in which plastics are produced, used, reused, recycled and ultimately regenerated.

In this article, we cover some of the latest recycling innovations:

Making polypropylene more widely recyclable

John Layman, chief technologist and founding inventor of PureCycle Technologies, has developed a revolutionary process to remove color, odor and contaminants from polypropylene plastic waste and transform it into a malleable and pure resin that is the foundation of plastic products. Polypropylene, the second most used plastic in the world, is currently only 1% recycled. It is hoped that the innovative process developed by PureCycle will enable us to recycle much more of the material.

Developing plastic roads

The companies are now experimenting with a new strategy of melting plastic products, combining additives, and then using that mixture to pave roads. MacRebur is one of the leading companies in plastic road construction. By using only disposable plastics for their intended purpose, they contribute to reducing the carbon footprint.

Eco-Bricks

With Ecobricks, empty plastic bottles are filled with clean, dried and disposable plastics and filled to the brim. This makes them durable and then reusable building blocks for building tables, beds, stages and even walls. For example, even a school from Ecobricks was built in South Africa.

Plastic made of wood

Finnish Technical Research Center VTT has created a material from agricultural and forest by-products that can be used for packaging products such as muesli, nuts, dried fruit and rice. Plastic alternatives made from these wood by-products are great at reducing the plastic consumption we have in the packaging industry.

3D Printing Street Furniture

Parts of recycled plastic products are used to 3D print street furniture such as benches. This has been done by companies like ‘The New Raw‘. But this is just one type of use of 3D printing with waste plastic. Consider how much more we can do with 3D printing, countless kinds of products can be produced.

Using magnets to make recyclable plastic a more effective packaging material

Aronax Technologies is a company in Spain that has found that using a magnetic additive to recyclable plastic can provide better air and moisture insulation; better air and moisture insulation makes plastic more suitable for protecting sensitive products such as coffee and medical products, while also making it possible to be recycled. The additive will give plastics much better properties at blocking the ingress of gases such as oxygen, but these additives can be identified and separated at the recycling stage.

A new variant of plastic-eating enzymes can be used to clean up plastic waste and landfills.

A new enzyme variant that can break down environmentally constraining plastics, which often take centuries to degrade, in just a few hours to days. It was created by chemical engineers and scientists at the University of Texas at Austin.

The discovery, published in Nature on April 27, 2022, could help solve one of the world’s biggest environmental problems: What to do with the billions of tons of plastic waste that piles up in landfills and pollutes our natural soils and waters? The enzyme has the potential to power recycling on a large scale, enabling large industries to reduce their environmental impact by recovering and reusing plastics at the molecular level.

“The possibilities are endless across industries to take advantage of this pioneering recycling process,” said Hal Alper, a professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at UT Austin. “Beyond the open waste management industry, this also offers companies from every industry the opportunity to lead the way in recycling their products. Thanks to these more sustainable enzyme approaches, we can begin to envision a true circular plastics economy.

The project focuses on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), an important polymer found in most consumer packaging, including snack containers, soda bottles, fruit and salad packaging, and certain fibers and textiles. It accounts for 12% of all global waste.

The enzyme was able to complete a “cyclical process” of breaking the plastic into smaller pieces (depolymerization) and then chemically reassembling it (repolymerization). In some cases, these plastics can completely break down into monomers in as little as 24 hours.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in fibers for clothing, containers for liquids and foods, and thermoforming for manufacturing.

Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences used a machine learning model to create new mutations in a natural enzyme called PETase that allows bacteria to break down PET plastics. The model predicts which mutations in these enzymes will achieve the goal of rapidly depolymerizing post-consumer waste plastic at low temperatures.

In this process, which involved examining 51 different post-consumer plastic containers, five different polyester fibers and fabrics, and water bottles, all made of PET, the researchers demonstrated the efficacy of the enzyme they call FAST-PETase (functional, active). , stable and tolerant PETase).

“This work demonstrates the power of bringing together different disciplines, from synthetic biology to chemical engineering to artificial intelligence,” said Andrew Ellington, a professor in the Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology whose team led the development of the machine learning model.

The most obvious way to reduce plastic waste is recycling. But globally, less than 10% of all plastic is recycled. Besides throwing plastic into landfills, the most common disposal method is incineration; this releases costly, energy-intensive, and harmful gases into the air. Other alternative industrial processes include very energy-intensive glycolysis, pyrolysis, and/or methanolysis.

Biological solutions take much less energy. Research on enzymes for plastic recycling has advanced over the past 15 years. However, until now no one had figured out how to make enzymes that can operate efficiently at low temperatures making them both portable and affordable on a large industrial scale. FAST-PETase can operate at 50 degrees Celsius.

Next, the team plans to scale up enzyme production to prepare for industrial and environmental applications. The researchers have applied for a patent for the technology and are interested in several different uses. Cleaning up landfills and greening high-waste-generating industries are the most obvious. But another important potential use is in environmental remediation. The team is exploring various ways to field enzymes to clean up contaminated sites.

“Considering environmental cleaning applications, you need an enzyme that can work at ambient temperature. “This requirement is where our technology has a huge advantage in the future.”

bp and Clean Planet Energy Support Circular Plastic Chain Together 

bp has signed a 10-year deal with UK-based Clean Planet Energy, which is developing plants to convert hard-to-recycle waste plastics into circular petrochemical feedstocks, as well as ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD).

Clean Planet Energy designs and builds facilities, called ecoPlants, that are expected to process plastics that are often rejected by traditional recycling centers and sent to landfill or incineration.

Under the new deal, bp will initially take output of Clean Planet Energy’s first facility, currently under construction in Teesside, in the north-east of England.

The facility in the northeast is designed to have the capacity to process 20,000 tons of waste plastic per year to naphtha and ULSD. Naphtha can be used as a raw material in circular plastics value chains, in line with bp’s goal of unlocking new sources of value through circularity, keeping products and materials in use longer.

Clean Planet Energy will provide BP with the opportunity to expand the relationship by acquiring products from its future facilities beyond Teesside.

bp is already spearheading a series of major hydrogen and carbon capture and storage projects in and around Teesside that will support the decarbonisation of the region’s industries.

Last November, it announced plans for a new large-scale green hydrogen production plant that could produce 500 Mwe (megawatts of electricity input) hydrogen by 2030.

Clean Planet Energy is currently in the process of developing 12 ecoPlans worldwide. The company aims to remove 250,000 tons of hard-to-recycle waste plastic from these facilities alone annually from landfills and the environment, creating more than 700 green jobs in local communities. Clean Planet Energy plans to announce more ecoPlants in the UK, EU, Southeast Asia and the Americas later this year.

Sven Boss-Walker, Senior Vice President of Refining and Product Trading at bp, said the long-term agreement with Clean Planet Energy to purchase naphtha will help bp unlock new sources of value through circularity, while helping to remove plastic waste from landfill, incineration and incineration. told. Environment. “Clean Planet Energy’s first facility in Teesside should help accelerate this journey,” he said.

Clean Planet Energy Business Development Director Dr. Katerina Garyfalou said they set out to find an international energy company that understands its vision, and that the naphtha product “could have an impact in helping to advance a circular economy.” Its partners include the British Plastics Federation and Stopford, an international energy and environmental consultancy.

The energy, consulting and technology sectors are engaged in supporting efforts to improve sustainability and plastic recycling.

Chemex Global recently received a project award for Freepoint Eco-Systems to design, supply and build a 240 MTPD advanced recycling plant in Hebron, Ohio.

The facility will convert waste plastic that would otherwise be reserved for landfill or incineration into a green pyrolysis oil that will be used to create recycled plastic and other products.

EY has recently joined the Plastic Waste Elimination Alliance with more than 90 companies, project partners, allies and supporters committed to ending plastic waste in the environment.

Security Matters, a company focused on digitizing physical objects on the blockchain, has successfully marked recycled plastics by examining the effect of different feeding methods on final PCR reads with high accuracy.

The UK and other countries have implemented or will soon implement recycled Plastic Packaging Tax Codes that enable companies using SMX’s automated inspection technology to avoid human inspection errors and increase cost savings.

According to Haggai Alon, CEO and Founder of SMX, its technology provides companies with affordable and transparent solutions to identify and report recycled ingredients used in plastic packaging and to eliminate their reliance on human inspection.

Strategies to Increase Sustainability with Recyclable Plastic Packaging from Lee Metters

Lee Metters, director of group business development at Domino Printing Sciences, insists that the “war on plastic” ignores the fact that plastic can be one of the most environmentally friendly materials under the right conditions.  



Designing products and packaging for sustainability is not easy, as all materials have remarkable positive and negative properties. 

In 2020, an inter-parliamentary group in the UK warned that consumer pressure to end the use of plastic packaging in stores could actually harm the environment, as many materials considered to be more sustainable actually have a more damaging environmental footprint.  

Waste generation can be a problem with some plastics, but compared to other packaging materials, CO2 emissions are typically lower for both the production and shipping of plastic packaging.  

Compared to plastic, although glass is fully and widely recyclable, it is much heavier than plastic and is much more polluting to transport.  

Changing the way a product is packaged can pose serious risks for manufacturers, and even minor changes can have knock-on effects on production processes. This often-forgotten point requires ensuring that new material can be coded reliably and legibly with machine- or human-readable codes for as long as it is needed, while not negatively impacting the recyclability of the material.  

The Negligible Benefits of Plastic Packaging 

Attempts to understand and solve the plastic problem must consider both the pros and cons of plastic packaging. In 2018, 24.7 million tons of plastic packaging were produced in Europe. The reasons why plastics provide unique advantages as a packaging material are as follows: 

  • Plastic is lightweight – Garcon Wines’ 750ml PET bottle weighs just 63 grams – 87% lighter than an average glass wine bottle.  
  • Plastic is resource efficient – producing virgin plastic uses about half as much energy as alternative materials and uses only 4% of global oil production, despite being a byproduct of the oil industry. 
  • Plastic is inexpensive to manufacture – it allows products to be packaged and distributed without incurring significant costs to consumers.  
  • Plastic is an excellent barrier material – using plastic to package food can extend shelf life during transportation and storage and help reduce food waste. 

This last point is arguably the most important point to consider regarding the advantages of plastic packaging. Worldwide emissions from food waste contribute 3.3 gigatons of CO2 equivalent per year – if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter after China and the United States.  

Global food supply chains are complex networks in which fresh food is transported significant distances and passes through multiple hands before reaching consumers. For this reason, it is imperative to extend the shelf life and protect the food during transportation.  

Using even a small amount of plastic makes it easy to extend the shelf life of fresh foods. Studies have shown that just 1.5g of plastic wrap can extend the life of a cucumber by 11 days, while using plastic bags can reduce waste by two-thirds by preserving loose products like potatoes.  

Plastic packaging recycling and circular economy 

More effort and collaboration is needed between governments and key players in the plastics industry to standardize materials and recycling systems.  

This includes not only plastic manufacturers and recyclers, but also brand owners, manufacturers and retailers.  

Here are some key areas that organizations should consider:  

  •   Can you modify your packaging to use less material, remove unnecessary components, or aid recyclability without sacrificing product integrity? Overpacking is a problem right now and there is a problem with packaging design that uses too many layers and components.  
  • Do a lifecycle assessment  
  • Designing products that can be put together easily and effectively, reducing unnecessary components and lightening packaging all play a part in helping here.  
  • Mechanical recycling of plastics creates barriers to 100% recycled content. It also comes at a price – PCR is more expensive than pure materials because it is scarce and in high demand. A mix of virgin materials and PCR is a viable packaging solution and one of the main ways to demonstrate your brand’s commitment to sustainable plastics.  
  • There are three basic rules to follow when designing for recyclability: Use single materials, use naturally colored plastics instead of colored ones, and use less commonly recycled materials. 

Use commonly recycled materials such as PET, polyethylene and polypropylene instead of materials such as polystyrene, PVC and ABS. For some, moving away from plastic is neither possible nor desirable, but the good news is that plastic packaging can still play an important role in sustainability. For organizations that already use plastic as a packaging material, it is important to understand the options available and identify the right solution to suit individual needs 

. Developments for new and improved plastic packaging will undoubtedly continue for several more years, and coding and marking technologies will need to evolve with them. Some of the risks involved in designing for sustainability are addressed through the development of laser and ink coding solutions for new packaging solutions, including recycled, recyclable and biobased plastic packaging. 

Breakthroughs In Advanced Plastic Recycling Will Help Deliver On Sustainability Goals

Technologies That Keep Plastics Going On Needs To Be A Part Of The Solution To Bring The End Of Plastic Waste

This period, which is a new era of plastic recycling, also called “Chemical Recycling” in terms of the climate and global sustainability goals of nations, has the potential to contribute to achieving a cyclical economy. 

As the recycling of chemical recycling technologies becomes widespread, it is foreseen that approximately half of the plastic packaging worldwide will be recyclable by 2040. 

Innovative recycling and recovery technologies, with a hard plastic to be recycled after use, as new raw materials and other raw materials for the production of plastics and chemicals in the supply chain for the continuous re-building blocks that can be integrated into converting the original has tremendous economic value. 

Unlike traditional recycling, advanced recycling contamination, pollution, mixed polymers, and low-quality, low-density plastics can be overcome. The process also avoids the “down cycle”, which reduces the material quality over time, by producing pure quality plastic raw materials. Conceptually, advanced recycling can be an endless recycling process. 

Houston as a Leader in the Cyclical Plastics Economy 

The Houston metropolitan area contains the largest concentration of petrochemical production in the world. 

Houston is an intellectual capital for the energy industry value chain, providing tremendous leadership opportunities for chemical recycling developments in the global economic, energy, and sustainability fields. 

A recent report by the Center for the Future of Houston and the University of Houston shows that, based on the current plastic production capacity and the types of plastic waste produced in the Houston area, the region could support up to 100 advanced recycling facilities with a high capacity each by 2030. It reveals that processing 25,000 tons of this process per year, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 10 million metric tons of CO2 per year and increase 15,000 jobs and half a billion dollars in annual payroll in total. 

The report predicts that by 2050, these facilities and economic impacts will increase at least threefold. 

Another analysis shows that chemically recycling only 25 percent of the recoverable polymers in Texas can support 40 advanced recycling and recovery facilities that generate over $500 million in economic output each year. 

The economic Sunday opportunity in the plastics and petrochemical field, which can be met only in the USA and Canada, in part by the recovery of waste plastics, is a total of $ 120 billion annually. 

The Recently Proposed Federal Legislation Could Hinder Developments toward a Cyclical and Sustainable Plastics Future 

Houston’s importance in the production of plastics, combined with relatively low energy prices and the availability of increased price-competitive renewable electricity, places the region in a unique position to lead the circular plastics economy. 

Recently was introduced, aiming to reach net zero by 2050 to build a clean energy economy and GHG and our nation (CLEAN) ACT Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the future, advanced recycling facilities and new facilities for extreme sensitive permissions supply chains by introducing a pause will make it even worse. 

The Law on Getting Rid of Plastic Pollution introduces a similar attitude to new plastic production facilities and prevents advanced recycling technologies from expanding the types and quantities of plastics that can be recycled. 

These proposed pieces of legislation would hamper America’s ability to sustainably produce and recycle entire varieties of polymers that existing recycling systems and technologies cannot manage. This means that waste plastics, which are not commonly recycled today, will have the end of their limited lifespan. 

This is contrary to a circular economy, where the goal is to maintain the economic value of materials by always keeping materials in play in a closed loop and creating a continuous supply chain. 

As designed, the legislation will be an economic and disruptive burden for the current and future recycling Sundays and will act as an obstacle to achieving the country’s climate goals, employment creation, and sustainability commitment, as well as recycling content goals. 

Sunday policy Jul-bounding developed recycling markets is in direct conflict with Biden’s plan to develop sustainable infrastructure and a just clean energy future.

How To Boost Recycling in Your Business in 5 Ways

Most businesses are increasing their efforts to go green, aiming to reduce their carbon footprint as well as saving money. According to research conducted by the State of the Environment Report in 2016, 57 percent of all Australian businesses are making use of more eco-conscious practices in day-to-day operations. And one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways to be more sustainable in your business is through recycling.

It is an excellent way of reducing carbon emissions, saving energy and reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. If done correctly, a comprehensive recycling system can help an organisation cut its contribution to landfill entirely.

Here are five tips on how to boost recycling for your business.

  1. Reduce paper consumption

Reducing paper consumption is a great way to reduce waste production. Usually, paper has the highest volume of waste in the office. It is, therefore, important to try and find tasks, which could be paperless or make use of re-usable materials. For paper you do use, consider a recycled or carbon neutral paper.

  1. Investing in good bins and labelling

Most offices use a lot of recyclable materials so ideally have designated places to dispose of these materials so they can be easily recycled. Providing separate waste bins for each option with a highly visible label providing practical guidelines for employees can help to encourage and promote recycling within your business, with separate bins for bottles, containers and soft plastics.

  1. Encourage employees

To achieve a successful recycling initiative, employees need to be motivated to participate. It is vital to reach out and engage with staff members to ensure they are aware of the right ways to recycle and what options are available, while also making it simple for them to contribute.

You may need to implement an ongoing training program that outlines what staff can and can’t recycle.

  1. Regular communication

It is important that staff members know the basic information such as where to put their waste. You can email staff members or place an item on the notice board as to where recycling points are.

In addition to ensuring all bins are labelled correctly, ensure all staff members are aware of the program you have initiated as well as your company’s goals. For instance, you could publish your waste versus recycling ratios. Adding rewards or incentives to recycle can also be a good bonus.

  1. Run a recycling awareness day

You can run a recycling awareness day to help boost the adoption rates of the recycling program. The awareness day can also help be used to educate staff members on the impact of recycling on the environment and the costs associated with waste production.

Following these tips can help businesses promote an eco-conscious work environment. An ongoing commitment to recycling for all businesses can be a worthy cause and contribute to a more sustainable future.

NEW RECYCLING TECHNOLOGIES

The year 2022 will be a year in which many innovations and developments will take place in the recycling industry. The most important reason for this is the latest developments and innovations in recycling technology.

According to a report in the New York Times, the Corona pandemic caused a major waste crisis. Fear of transmission of the disease has caused many recyclable materials to be thrown away. When we look at the result, we are faced with more waste and less recycling. Therefore, recycling technologies are the only thing that can provide a solution to this period of history where perhaps the most waste is in question.

Some of the latest developments and innovations in recycling technologies will be implemented immediately, and some will be implemented soon. The aim of these innovations is to make recycling more efficient and effective, and there are high hopes for them to find a solution to the waste issue that has turned into a crisis. 

1. Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse

Announced in 2021, Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse focuses entirely on recycling and waste management. Significant impacts are expected in these areas with Metaverse. Metaverse reduces the need to travel and of being physically in one place.

Thanks to Metaverse, which is described as a new era in the virtual world, more people will work from home. With the necessary equipment and training, people will be able to spare time for recycling, reach the necessary resources and have the ability to realize them.

2. Plastic That Can Be Recycled

Work on recyclable plastic has been going on for years. These studies are carried out entirely with the help of cutting-edge science. Numerous experiments are being carried out to transform plastic in a sustainable way. After countless experiments, one person managed to find the way to this sustainable plastic recycling: John Layman.

With the PureCycle Technology he developed, Layman from Procter and Gamble succeeded in obtaining a reusable resin by completely purifying polypropylene from color, odor and contaminants.

The first product of this technology was a recycled plastic shower head.

3. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is widely used in Europe. The purpose of IoT technology is to collect recycling route data. For this, sensors are installed in residential garbage bins and other garbage units. These sensors are connected with the right front-end software and data is collected where, how much, at what level and by whom recycling is done.

When considered in terms of society, with the system created by this technology, municipalities can identify residential and commercial areas that cannot reach the expected recycling rates. Thus, recycling improvement works can be carried out on the basis of cities.

4. City Recycling Programs

The ongoing, and not expected to end, pandemic conditions and the China ban have forced cities to adapt and innovate their recycling programs.

Municipalities created new resources that could finance their recycling activities, and thus taking action to realize sustainable recycling activities became common.These alternative financing sources of municipalities were created through online platforms and social media. Still, in 2022, municipalities should communicate directly with the community to provide more sustainable finance and to explain the requirements of recycling.

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF THE RECYCLING MARKET

Recycling is not only a concrete step towards climate change, but also one of the drivers of global economic development.

The American Environmental Protection Agency EPA began to create programs that promote recycling and the use of recycled materials in 1990. Among these programs, programs that promote employment in the field of recycling were in the nature of financing recycling economic development grant programs. Thanks to these programs, a network of professionals from the recycling market was formed.

While the impact of programs like “Jobs Through Recycling” JTR on recycling job positions in America has been positive, government support has waned over time. The decrease in this support also negatively affected the financing. While the federal-level practices accelerated the purchase of recycled materials for the state, the private sector could not catch the same momentum. As political perspectives on recycling have changed, the corollary has been changes in funding. Although it could not progress in a stable line, these first steps taken to create the recycling market and employment contributed greatly to the establishment of the system in the country.

Increased Production

For a century, production in the world has been taking place on the axis of economic overseas shipping, taking advantage of cheap employment in overseas countries. As recycling came to the fore in time, the recyclable materials of Europe and America started to offer a commercial earning potential. Afterwards, it came to such a point that the demand for recycled material began to exceed the amount of material offered. This has led to the export of low quality recyclable materials to meet the increasing demand.

As a result, American recycling companies were late in making innovations in the field of recycling and keeping up with the developing recycling technologies, as they concentrated only on meeting the increasing demand.

Quality Issue

America’s shipment of contaminated bales to overseas processors has caused some problems over time. These overseas processors were unable to clean up this level of contamination and so the pollution in their country was increasing day by day. One of these countries was China. With the formation of this pollution, the government immediately implemented the policies called Green Fence and National Sword and started to prevent pollution.

Michael Timpane, RRS Vice President of Materials Recovery, said: “It was so untenable to regulators.” says. “What those in the supply chain overlooked were the high costs of cleaning up contamination and the illegal release of pollutants into the environment.

When the Chinese Government put the restrictions into effect, the materials that came to China for recycling started to be received, this time by countries such as Vietnam and India. However, the result was the same. These countries also saw the problems caused by these high-contamination materials and took similar restraint measures.

In the later stage, companies in these countries started to work domestically by establishing their own MRF infrastructures, while at the same time they began to purchase assets to produce raw products or semi-finished products in the USA. These products, which they would produce in America, would be sent to their overseas facilities.

Situation in U.S.

The measures taken and the restrictions imposed by overseas countries, especially China, caused problems in the domestic market in the USA. A sufficient level of recycling exports could not be made. This had negative environmental effects. As a result, it has become a necessity for America to turn to the development of the domestic recycling market. Improvements in the domestic recycling market have made the system more responsible and flexible. In addition, companies in the private sector now had targets regarding the use of recycled content. The way they could achieve these goals was through the development of the domestic recycling market.

Decision makers, policy makers and government agencies agree on the benefits of the recycling market as an important development tool. These benefits are people, profitability and planet. Considering the current legal situation, there is almost no obstacle in front of the development in the recycling market. Because the technologies used in recycling are developing day by day and the demand for recycled materials is increasing constantly, either compulsorily or voluntarily.

There are recycling market development centers in America, and most are either government-established or government-funded. The aim of these organizations is to support the companies that demand recycled materials, to gather the necessary resources at one point, to provide the necessary coordination, to provide the necessary expertise and tools for the companies to cope with the obstacles they face, and to contribute to the development of this market by obtaining positive economic, social and environmental outputs as a result of all these. 

Since the 1990s, states that have a recycling market development program have been reintroduced and resource support has been provided, and necessary steps have been taken to establish new centers in states such as New York, Washington, and New Jersey.

Market

According to the 2010-2019 data of the Post-Consumption Plastics Recycling Data Report, exports of recovered post-consumer plastics in the United States decreased from 40% to 10%. It is possible to say that the effect of the pandemic on the worldwide supply has a share in this, albeit partially.

The Covid epidemic has also enabled the worldwide e-commerce volume to grow exponentially. As this directly affects the packaging industry, American paper mills are expanding to meet the increasing demand. Dan Felton, managing director of AMERIPEN St. Paul, Minnesota made the following statement about this situation. ” The recycling and manufacturing industries should see each other as partners in the production of products containing recycled materials. There should be a concerted effort to improve bale quality and create end markets for materials.”

The idea that recycling is only an application that prevents materials from going to waste should be left behind. It is one of the most concrete solution actions taken against climate change. It represents economic development, increases employment and encourages local investment. For all companies and individuals operating in the recycling market, now is the perfect time to start growing, increase cooperation and ultimately transform it into a circular economy.

INNOVATIVE RECYCLING BY PURECYCLE TECHNOLOGY

PureCycle has been developing new innovations in the recycling of polypropylene, the second most used plastic in the world. This type of plastic is the type of plastic that has been recycled at least to date.

Considering that only less than 10% of what is used is recycled, the plastic waste problem becomes serious. The amount of plastic waste in the oceans alone is 100 million tons. However, plastic waste can be a completely renewable resource. The issue that scientists are investigating is: can plastics be used over and over in an endless cycle without becoming waste? So what are the ways to ensure this cycle? Through the discovery of these pathways, the linear economy can become the circular economy.

Recycling of Polypropylene

John Layman has made an important progress towards achieving this. He is the head of materials science at Procter§Gamble and the founder and chief technology officer of PureCycle Technologies. The aim of the process developed by Layman is to purify polypropylene plastic waste from color, contaminants and odor and convert it into a resin in this way. To this resin will become a virtually unused resin. What makes this technology most special is that although polypropylene is the second most used plastic type in the world, it is only 1% recycled plastic.

Some plastic additives have been added to these innovative materials from PureCycle by Scott Trenor. Scott Trenor is Layman’s former classmate and polymer scientist for Milliken & Company. These additives are so interesting that they change the properties of plastics so that they can be used for different products. Because a cheese pot should be flexible whereas a water drum should be durable. This innovation brought the two companies together to start a commercial production.

According to Trenor, this union has a fruitful harmony as it is built around the same environmental goal. In fact, Milliken’s policies in this direction began in 1901. The target of all circular economy policies, including zero waste, is 2025. This innovation developed by Layman coincides with P§G’s 100% recyclable material plan for all its packaging.

Layman’s interest in recycling started in 2008 with a stint at P§G. The purpose of this task was to investigate whether plastic waste can be used with P§G packaging. “The quality of the recycled materials is questionable,” he says. Currently, PET and HDPE are the most economically viable types for both recyclers and those using recycled plastics. However, it is challenging to obtain quality products from even these two.

Layman decided on polypropylene because it was the third most used plastic resin. The most distinctive features of this plastic are that it is resistant to impact and has a flexible structure. It is mostly used in covers, phones, luggage. You can see this plastic used everywhere. However, it requires a lot of processing in terms of recycling, so it is costly to recycle. Moreover, due to its intense odor and non-purified pollutants, only black or gray products are recycled as output. Therefore, its recycling rate is very low and its usage area is very limited.

Layman was aware that the way to expand the usage area of ​​this type of plastic after recycling and thus to increase its commercial value was through an economical treatment process. Thanks to a funding program of the firm, it first started with the discovery phase. Since the technology in question is a solvent-based process that does not work on a molecular basis, it is energy efficient compared to chemical processes. According to Layman, this quality of purification is achieved not only by using the right solvent, but also by following certain processes.

Global PureCycle Goals

After purification, it is necessary to obtain recycled polypropylene with certain properties for a particular product. At this stage, additives are processed. These additives can differentiate PureCycle resin according to the purpose of use. In this way, polypropylene resin can be used for the production of a much different and wide range of products. The planned polypropylene purification and recycling target for the first plant is 119 million pounds and an annual production target of 105 million pounds. Even though the numbers seem big, when we look at the data of 2018, there is the fact that 120 billion pounds of polypropylene is produced in the world. This means that, as Layman said, these goals are not that big. The larger plan is to build 25 more facilities around the world. Layman states that they aim to transform 10-20% of the polypropylene produced by these facilities with this technology.

PureCycle is A Long Term Marathon 

According to Trenor, considering the technologies used for this recycling, it is a marathon run. In this marathon run, technology alone is not enough to create the plastic cycle. Consumer behavior should be differentiated, recycling should be assisted, and recycling companies should be provided with an economic basis to recycle polypropylene along with PET and HDPE.

WHAT IS CHEMICAL RECYCLING?

The recycling process of plastic is like a spiral of waste and degraded materials. But now a different recycling is possible: turning plastic into the oil from which it is made.

Did you know that only 9% of the total plastic produced in the world is recycled? This is indeed a very low rate. The biggest reason why this rate is so low is that recycling of plastic requires advanced technology and long and difficult processes. Plastic is produced with polymer chemistry, and what we are talking about now is that this polymer chemistry turns the plastic back into oil.

The name given to this process is chemical recycling, and it is currently being researched as an alternative to existing recycling practices. Normal recycling processes and technologies are difficult, but chemical recycling also requires a great deal of energy. When the ever-changing prices of crude oil are added to this huge energy need, producing plastic from scratch unfortunately costs less than recycling. 

The annual amount of plastic production in the world is more than 380 million tons. Only 16% of this amount of plastic produced is recycled and new plastic is produced. The remaining plastics are either incinerated or thrown away.

Definition

In fact, chemical recycling is the process of recycling plastics that are not recyclable due to some of their properties and are not suitable for recycling. In other words, there is no plastic that is not recycled in chemical recycling and all of them are converted to their original state. This creates an endless transformation system.

Raw material recycling forms the basis of chemical recycling. Its other name is thermal transformation and polymers are broken down into simple molecules with the help of heat.

Chemical Recycling Process

We can explain this simple process as follows. After a plastic bottle is used and thrown away, it is collected and taken to the recycling facility. At the facility, garbage is separated manually or mechanically according to its types. After this bottle is cleaned and shredded, it is packed together with the others in the form of a bale. All the processes up to this point are the same as the normal recycling process. Chemical recycling begins after this point. The plastic of the bottle is taken to the pyrolysis center and melted and subjected to a lot of heat in the pyrolysis reactor. This allows the plastic to turn into gas. The plastic that turns into gas is cooled to condense enough to turn into oil. The resulting oil is distilled to be used in different fields.

Applications

Some techniques for chemical recycling are still in the testing phase. One of these techniques is currently being tested by UK-based Recycling Technologies. The firm developed a machine. This is a pyrolysis machine that turns film, sachets and laminated plastics into Plaxx. The purpose of this output, which is a kind of liquid hydrocarbon feedstock, is to make quality plastics. For this purpose, the company established its first unit in 2020.

On the other hand, Plastic Energy company continues to work on the same chemical recycling process. It aims to add facilities to its two facilities in Spain, which it will establish in France, the Netherlands and England.

The plastics that the company recycles are plastics that are difficult to recycle. They recycle plastics like dry pet food bags into plastics that can be used in food.