PureCycle Technologies has partnered with global industrial manufacturer Milliken & Company and Nestlé S.A. as it moves forward with plans to open its first plant to restore used polypropylene (PP) plastic to “virgin-like” quality.
PureCycle’s patented recycling process, developed and licensed by Procter & Gamble (P&G), separates color, odor 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 PureCycle to help solve the plastics end-of-life challenge. Nestlé is working with PureCycle to develop new packaging materials that help avoid plastic waste, in line with the company’s commitment to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
“These partners are helping us accelerate as we bring this solution to the market,” said Mike Otworth, CEO of PureCycle Technologies, in a statement. “This is a validation of our method, and it will help us continue to move even more quickly as we make plastics recycling a reality.”
“The use of Milliken’s additives will help to ensure that PureCycle’s Ultra Pure Recycled Polypropylene is of the highest quality and adds the maximum value to brand owners and consumers. We believe that this partnership will further differentiate PureCycle as both a leading reclaimer and producer of polypropylene,” added Otworth.
With technology licensed from P&G, PureCycle is in the midst of building the first plant in Lawrence County, Ohio, that will recycle 119 million pounds of polypropylene, producing more than 105 million pounds per year starting in 2021. The momentum created by these new relationships is enabling PureCycle to open the plant’s feedstock evaluation unit, which processes multiple variations of feedstock (waste polypropylene) to optimize plant 1 and subsequent plants.
Today, about 20 percent of polyethylene terephthalate, which is commonly used to make plastic bottles and other consumer goods, is recycled. By contrast, less than 1 percent of polypropylene plastic is currently recycled. PureCycle noted it 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.
PureCycle Technologies stated it will make 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 percent of product packaging is either recyclable or programs are in place to create the ability to recycle it. PureCycle added that its technology supports P&G's vision of using 100 percent recycled or renewable materials and having zero consumer waste go to landfills.