Recycling of ocean plastic (OP) and ocean-bound plastic (OBP) has received heightened attention from brands looking to sell products to well-intentioned consumers wanting to keep plastics out of the oceans. "OBP" refers to plastic that has been captured before entering the ocean and should not be co...
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Sealed Air, ExxonMobil, and Ahold Delhaize are collaborating on an initiative to recycle flexible plastic food packaging. The packaging waste will be recycled with ExxonMobil's thermal plastic-to-plastic pyrolysis technology. However, it is unclear if chemical recycling is necessary to convert the plastic waste into food-contact-grade products when the feedstock will be presorted as a separate waste stream; mechanical recycling will still be the cheaper, simpler, and less-energy-intensive option. Clients should view the news as an example of how value chain collaboration is necessary to enable novel recycling technologies, but the initiative does not demonstrate the ideal use-case for chemical recycling.
A huge amount of corporate, consumer, and regulatory focus has been placed on the issue of plastic waste. This has resulted in a boom of innovation for recycling, but recycling is worthless without waste collection and the consolidation of inputs to actually get recycled. Despite that, there has not been a similar boom in hype for waste collection innovations, but activity is growing. This report looks at what needs to happen to create circular supply chains and breaks down the innovations occurring in the waste collection and sorting spaces.
Alpla has launched a returnable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle for the Austrian market together with Vöslauer, a mineral water company. The bottle is made of PET with a recycled content of about 30% and goes through at least 12 usage cycles with an estimated lifespan of three to four years. By having a reduced number of bottles, Alpla's returnable scheme could help the company meet recycled content mandates. However, returnable packaging is highly dependent on consumer behavior and requires efficient logistics to ensure the bottles are returned to the company. Reuse schemes have already made their way into industries with reliable and repetitive purchases like cleaning products, but the viability and practicality of returnable PET water bottles remain unclear.