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USA: Plastic Recycling Pure Cycle Teams Up with Milliken, Nestlé to Deliver World’s First Virgin-Like Recycled Polypropylene

Editor: Ahlam Rais

With this partnership, Pure Cycle aims to set up its first plant in Lawrence County, Ohio to restore used polypropylene (PP) plastic to 'virgin-like' quality with a revolutionary recycling method. By 2021, the plant is expected to recycle 119 million pounds of polypropylene and produce over 105 million pounds annually.

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Pure Cycle is focusing on recycling and reintegrating polypropylene upstream to highly sensitive consumer product applications.
Pure Cycle is focusing on recycling and reintegrating polypropylene upstream to highly sensitive consumer product applications.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

Illinois/USA – Pure Cycle Technologies has recently announced that it has partnered with global industrial manufacturer, Milliken & Company, and the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé. The move comes following the firm’s plan to open its first plant to restore used polypropylene (PP) plastic to 'virgin-like' quality with a revolutionary recycling method.

Pure Cycle’s patented recycling process, developed and licensed by Procter & Gamble (P&G), separates colour, odour and other contaminants from plastic waste feedstock to transform it into virgin-like resin. Milliken, whose additives will play a critical role in reinvigorating recycled polypropylene, has formed an exclusive supply relationship with Pure Cycle to help solve the plastics end-of-life challenge. Nestlé is working with Pure Cycle to develop new packaging materials that help avoid plastic waste, in line with the company’s commitment to make 100 % of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Bringing both consumer market knowledge and technical expertise, Milliken and Nestlé help Pure Cycle work towards delivering the world’s first virgin-like recycled polypropylene.

With technology licensed from P&G, Pure Cycle is in the midst of building the first plant in Lawrence County, Ohio, that will recycle 119 million pounds of polypropylene, producing over 105 million pounds per year starting in 2021. The momentum created by these new relationships is enabling the firm to open the plant’s feedstock evaluation unit, which processes multiple variations of feedstock (waste polypropylene) to optimise plant 1 and subsequent plants.

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Today, about 20 per cent of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is commonly used to make plastic bottles and other consumer goods, is recycled. By contrast, less than 1 per cent of polypropylene plastic is currently recycled. Pure Cycle is the first company to solely focus on recycling and reintegrating polypropylene upstream 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.

Pure Cycle Technologies will make high-quality, recycled PP widely available for purchase across industries. This technology demonstrates P&G's commitment to sustainability and helps in achieving P&G's recycling goals – doubling the use of recycled resin in plastic packaging and ensuring 90 per cent of product packaging is either recyclable or programmes are in place to create the ability to recycle it. Pure Cycle’s technology supports P&G's vision of using 100 per cent recycled or renewable materials and having zero consumer waste go to landfills.

“Our approach to innovation not only includes products and packaging, but technologies that allow us and others to have a positive impact on our environment. This technology has the capacity to revolutionise the plastics recycling industry by enabling P&G and companies around the world to tap into sources of recycled plastics that deliver nearly identical performance and properties as virgin materials in a broad range of applications,” said Kathy Fish, Chief Research, Development and Innovation Officer, Procter & Gamble.

The global polypropylene market is valued at more than 80 billion dollars, according to Transparency Market research, and is on track to reach 133.3 billion dollars by 2023. The Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) has identified 1 billion pounds of recycled polypropylene demand in North America alone. The majority of that demand is for 'high-quality' recycled polypropylene, APR has said.

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