In a world where we are constantly striving to Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle, why do we still have so much plastic waste?
Unfortunately, not all plastic can be recycled. In fact, with traditional mechanical recycling only a small percentage of waste is suitable. This is mainly due to the high sorting requirements of the technology. Waste that is mechanically recycled is turned into “new” plastic which after use becomes waste again. This time, however, with decreased material quality, meaning it most likely will not qualify to be recycled. What then? Sadly, the only solution then is landfill or incineration.
New and innovative technologies that promote recycling of a wider range of plastics needed to be created.
This is where chemical recycling processes were born. Chemical recycling refers to technologies that return post-use plastic waste back into its basic chemical building blocks. From here either new plastic can be created, or in most cases chemicals, fuels, and other, normally crude-based products are made. At Clariter, we transform plastic waste nobody wants and produce high-quality industrial oils, waxes, and solvents that go on to make 1000+ end-products everybody needs. By using advanced recycling to produce these, we help preserve the plastics’ original value and conserve and reduce the use of fossil-fuel resources.
Chemical recycling technologies are not a replacement but are complimentary to mechanical recycling. If we cannot Reuse, or Reduce, now, there is an increased chance that we can Recycle and bring an end to the life of plastic.
A world free from plastic waste is a reality.
This is an opinion paper written by Clariter and inspired by articles from BASF and Chemical Recycling Europe.