Two companies, Plastonix, and Elemental Recycling have done what others could not: they have found technologies that recycle all types of plastic.
This is a real innovation because up until now, there was practically no way to recycle most plastics, especially soft plastic, mixed plastics, and dirty or soiled plastics. That has all changed.
The monumental task of recycling the 380 million tons of plastic disposed of each year, that clog the ocean and beaches throughout the world, has eluded us. Around 80 percent of all plastic ends up in the oceans and landfills.
There have been discoveries, such as plastic-eating bacteria (takes a long time), a plastic-eating enzyme (hard to reproduce), and plastic-eating mushrooms (only works on certain plastics). The answer was found in technology, as often happens.
A Canadian company, Plastonix has developed a technology that uses several proprietary techniques, that involve a series of methods, systems, and chemical agents to reduce any petroleum-derived material into processable chips or powdered material.
Some of the composite materials that can be made from the chips and powder are, paving materials, paving stones, construction blocks, tile beams, sheets of material, and boards.
The system can process any material derived from petroleum, even mixed types of materials, at the same time. The plastics we can recycle, the plastics we can’t, and the plastics no one thought anyone could process, can all be mixed together in one batch and turned into chips and powder.
A Houston, Texas company, Elemental Recycling has gone one step further than Plastronix, by developing and selling a plastic recycling machine. Their proprietary system will be delivered to the customer in quarter 1 of 2023.
In a single-step process, they take any kind of plastic and upcycle that waste into high-purity graphite and graphene. Graphite can be used to make smartphones, electronics of all types, fighter jets, and airplanes and is one of the composite materials in automobile manufacturing.
One of the byproducts of Elemental’s recycling process is the production of hydrogen. The market for hydrogen-based products is growing rapidly and will include solutions like storage, transportation, energy, and shipping.
Both of these methods are carbon-neutral and provide green sources of materials. The manufacturing of products from waste plastic for these companies meets and exceeds all regulatory standards. But more importantly, it produces no emissions at all.