Plastics recycling: Used PP becomes virgin-like PP
US company PureCycle Technologies jointly with Milliken and Nestlé aim to move forward with plans to open the first plant to restore used polypropylene (PP) plastic to 'virgin-like' quality. This plant will use a new recycling process – developed and licensed by Procter & Gamble - that separates color, odor and other contaminants from plastic waste feedstock.
Feedstock evaluation unit to start
According to the partners, Milliken will contribute its additives to reinvigorate recycled polypropylene. Thus, the manufacturer has formed an exclusive supply relationship with PureCycle. Nestlé will take part in the development of new packaging materials that help avoid plastic waste.
The first recycling plant is currently under construction in Lawrence County/Ohio, USA. It is said to recycle 119 million pounds of polypropylene, producing over 105 million pounds virgin-like PP per year starting in 2021. PureCycle is soon to open the plant’s feedstock evaluation unit, which processes multiple variations of feedstock (waste polypropylene) to optimize plant 1 and subsequent plants.
Used PP for packaging
Today, about 20 percent of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is commonly used to make plastic bottles and other consumer goods, is recycled. By contrast, less than 1 percent of polypropylene plastic is currently recycled. Thanks to the new method, PP reportedly will be upvalued to highly sensitive consumer product applications, which are used in food and beverage packaging, consumer good packaging, automobile interiors, electronics, home furnishings, and many other products.