Thanks to two innovative companies, all types of plastics are now recyclable. This must be up there with the best innovations of 2022.
Two companies, Plastonix and Elemental Recycling have done what others have failed to achieve: they have figured out how to recycle all types of plastic. This is a crucial innovation because up until now, there was no practical way to recycle most plastics, especially soft plastic, mixed plastics, and dirty or soiled plastics.
The really good news is that has now changed and the monumental task of recycling the 380 million tons of plastic disposed of each year, that clog the ocean and beaches throughout the world, is now within our grasp.
There have been discoveries, such as plastic eating bacteria (takes a long time), a plastic eating enzyme (hard to reproduce), 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 a 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, 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 at the beginning of next year.
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.