Numerous reports show that our failure to manage plastic is one of the biggest threats to our oceans and ecosystem today. And a large part of the problem has been that conventional recycling techniques can only "downcycle" plastic.
Loop Industries, a company based in Quebec, Canada, is making headlines with its revolutionary new upcycling technology. The technology uses a process called depolymerization that requires no heat or pressure to deconstruct waste plastic—think used carpets, soda and water bottles—into its basic chemical building blocks.
Forbes recently sat down with Founder and CEO Daniel Solomita to find out how he came up with the technology behind Loop.
Forbes has more:
One of the biggest challenges facing the health of our shared rivers, oceans and ecosystem today is the failure to manage plastic: that versatile and nearly indestructible material so often used for only moments but can persist for centuries. The planet is choking on it in many forms including bags, bottles and straws. 93% of plastics are produced using fossil fuels, and global oil consumption for plastics is expected to increase from 6% to 20%.
The focus on virgin, single-use plastics has meant that around $120 billion dollars are lost every year to the economy from products that are thrown away after a single use, and the issue is compounded by the fact that conventional collection, recovery and recycling programs have struggled to keep pace with the sheer volume produced as the sheer economics of managing single-use plastics almost demand their disposal rather than their recovery and reuse. Long-term solutions must involve finding alternatives to plastic, but until that happens the focus must be on creating a "Circular Economy" where we use only what has already been harvested from the Earth—and retroactively remove what is already clogging up our oceans and landfills.