With nearly 80% of post-consumer plastics being diverted to Canada’s landfills, there is lots of work to be done to address plastic waste reduction. How is industry working with their customers to reduce plastic use in packaging? What are the opportunities being developed to extend plastic’s lifetime with new uses?
Thinking Outside the Circle: Creating Novel Materials and Bigger Markets for Post-Use Plastics through Chemical Recycling.”
A single-use plastic (SUP) bag has an estimated lifespan of 12 minutes. A plastic straw is typically used for less than 20 minutes. By reusing that discarded plastic bag or straw to make a new SUP item, another 12 or 20 minutes of usefulness can be derived from the resource. This SUP-to-SUP circle achieved by traditional mechanical recycling can typically be completed only a limited number of times before plastic quality is diminished and insufficient for further processing.
What if we could expand the useful lifespan of plastic from these discarded SUP items to 20 years instead of 20 minutes? The novel chemical recycling technology designed by GreenMantra does exactly that. This technology takes advantage of the integrity of the plastic molecule to create new high-value materials that are used as performance additives in various industrial applications. By “thinking outside the circle”, GreenMantra has successfully scaled its chemical recycling business and is diverting tens of thousands of pounds of plastic from our environment into new applications each year.