By Roel Wollaert; Dutch PET Recycling _________ Arnhem, 21 April 2020
Some weeks ago, we started with an article about our business during the Corona or COVID-19 crisis. In this article we will give an update on how we are dealing with the circumstances and what we see happening around us.
In our own working process, nothing has changed drastically. We are used to work in a global network where we have contact with our suppliers and customers at a distance. However, not all parties concerned have the availability of all tools. That’s why, sometimes, we have to be patient and understanding. Especially in countries where a lockdown forces you to stay at home and one is not able to contact the bank for a transaction or check upon the Chamber of commerce for a Certificate of Origin.
Using disposable gloves, syringes, insulin pens, masks, catheters etcetera reduces the risks of infections. But it also makes the work process easier and faster because less material has to be sterilized.
In non-medical industries, plastic use is also increasing. Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts forbid reusable cups; the food industry is using more plastic to extend the shelf life and now uses the argument that plastic is more hygienic and easier to use. Restaurants try to survive by offering take away food in…(rPET-made) plastic boxes. Plastic protection screens are used for cashiers in supermarkets. Everywhere around you, more plastic is used due to COVID-19!
One may be worried about the limited volumes entering collection systems. Consumers (recycling) behavior is changing. People are buying bottles, but they don’t bring them back, they store it. Collectors in Asian and African countries are facing restrictions to do their job. Many will be looking at how used PET bottles are returned to the recycling stream during the outbreak. The availability of rPET might become scarce.
Demand for virgin PET has already increased significantly in March as Europeans began to buy food and other necessities in higher volumes. Plans of using more recycled plastic and reduce plastic waste, sometimes, seem to be no longer a top priority.
Another concern is the impact on logistics. Several countries have closed their borders and restricted the movement of goods and people, getting material to and from harbors and recycling units. Until now we only had some minor problems but recently most transport was running smoothly again.
Social distancing will become a way of life the coming months and maybe years. What this will do to our business is not easy to predict. For the time being, the majority of the recycling industry continues to operate without too much problems. Sudden local problems we will be able to handle, as our network is diversified. We will see what the future will bring us.
For now: Stay safe, healthy, and take care of the environment!
On behalf of all employees and agents at Dutch PET Recycling.
CARBIOS announces the publication of an article on its enzymatic recycling technology in the prestigious scientific journal ”Nature”. This publication outlines Company’s proprietary process for converting plastic waste into new bottles – a breakthrough towards a circular economy.
www.dutchpetrecycling.com thinks this is relevant content to share within the recycling industry. To go directly to the article on Nature.com, press the link here.
April 14, 2020 | Recycling technology | CARBIOS | Paris | France
CARBIOS, a company pioneering new bio-industrial solutions to reinvent the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers, announces the publication of an article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, entitled “An engineered PET-depolymerase to break down and recycle plastic bottles”. The article is co-authored by scientists at Carbios and at the Company’s renowned academic partner, the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute.
The article describes the development of a novel enzyme, which can biologically depolymerize all polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste, followed by an extremely efficient recycling into new bottles. PET is the most common thermoplastic polymer and is used to manufacture bottles, polyester clothing fibers, food containers, and various thermoformed packaging and components. Carbios’ recycling process, the first of its kind, initiates a real transition to a circular economy and can better prevent plastic pollution from harming our oceans and planet. This innovative technology also paves the way for recycling PET fibers, another major challenge in guaranteeing a clean and protected environment for future generations.
Prof. Alain Marty, Carbios’ Chief Scientific Officer and co-author of the Nature article says: “I am very proud that Nature, one of the most highly respected scientific journals in the world, has validated the quality of the research led by Carbios and TBI laboratory scientists in developing a PET recycling enzyme and a revolutionary process. The results obtained confirm the industrial and commercial potential of the Company’s proprietary process, which will be tested in 2021 in our demonstration plant in the heart of the French Chemical Valley, near Lyon.”
Sophie Duquesne, INRAE Researcher: “For any researcher, seeing its work recognized by the prestigious journal Nature is a true achievement. I am very proud of the work accomplished by the researchers at TBI and Carbios, whose collaborative efforts have led to the development of a sustainable solution to the end of life of plastics.”
Dr. Saleh Jabarin, Distinguished Professor at The University of Toledo, Ohio and a member of Carbios’ Scientific Committee: “It’s a real breakthrough in the recycling and manufacturing of PET. Thanks to the innovative technology developed by Carbios, the PET industry will become truly circular, which is the goal for all players in this industry, especially brand-owners, PET producers and our civilization as a whole.”
Bertrand Piccard, Founder and President of the Solar Impulse Foundation: “I am very pleased that the scientific community recognizes one of the solutions labelled by the Solar Impulse Foundation as a financially profitable solution to protect the environment. The use of such technology is as logical as it is ecological!”
Nature, the highest Impact Factor scientific journal, recognizes the ground-breaking quality of the enzymatic engineering research being done by Carbios and TBI, that is paving the way to virtuous management of plastic waste. “Carbios is the first company to successfully combine the two scientific worlds of enzymology and plastics”, as Dr. Philippe Pouletty, CEO of Truffle Capital and Co-founder of Carbios, comments.
By leveraging many years of experience with a world-renowned team, Carbios and TBI are proud to have been able to increase the degradation yield of PET waste to 90% in 10 hours, a significant upswing from the initial degradation yield of 1% after several weeks. This paradigm shift in how effectively PET can be recycled, is leading toward a future circular economy technology applicable to all PET waste, which Carbios is proud to be spearheading.
To read the article on Nature.com, press the link here.
By Roel Wollaert; Dutch PET Recycling _________ Arnhem, 27 March 2020
Normally our posts are about market developments and
news within the rPET or circular plastic industry. But the news nowadays is of
course about the Corona virus. It affects all of us around the world. In this article
we will give a brief overview how it has affected us so far and we will share
some thoughts with you.
At Dutch PET Recycling everybody is working at home.
Communication still goes rapidly with video calls and mailing. What we do miss
is the face-to-face contact with our suppliers and customers. We are convinced
that seeing is believing. That’s why we normally visit our suppliers and their
production facilities. The time saved by not travelling we now use online. For
example to promote our new website: www.dutchpetrecycling.com
At the beginning of 2020 the prospects for the
recycling industry were very promising. Awareness about waste reduction and
reducing CO2 emission is constantly growing. People do sort their waste more
and more. Collection of waste becomes more efficient. Governments are setting
targets for recycling and industries are thinking more about sustainable
product designs and commit themselves to use more recycled material.
That all is good news for our suppliers. Some of them
are relatively small companies, where quite a lot of families depend on. As far
as we know now, the virus hasn’t caught them. Besides the health threat of
Corona also an economic crisis is coming. Collecting waste might become more
difficult. That will differ per region and luckily for us and our customers we
have a great network of suppliers.
Sea transport is already facing some problems. Some
ports do have restrictions or are locked down for a period. But most of the
ports are still operating and must do that to keep the necessary (food) chains
working. Also here people are working out of their home (office). This
sometimes causes delay in communication.
Also prices fluctuate a lot. Overall we are very satisfied with our freight
forwarders who constantly think along with us to keep the service as high as
The good news in relation to our customers is that
most of them operate within the food chain. Plastic packaging for confectionery
or fresh food. Being an essential producer means that you don’t need to go in a
We hope and wish that everyone stays healthy. The market
developments before the Corona outbreak looked very promising and we are
convinced that the world will conquer the virus. It will be a matter of time.
The longer it takes the worser the economic crisis will be. But at the end we
think the recycling industry has a promising future ahead and that we will
quickly recover from this temporarily relapse.
Wishing you and all your beloved ones a healthy and
economic fruitful future.
On behalf of all employees and agents at Dutch PET
Companies are developing several chemical recycling technologies as they face pressure from:
regulators and investors
to keep plastic out of oceans and landfills.
Shoppers are actually willing
to pay more for sustainable products. Not only are consumers demanding natural
and healthier products, they want them sold in packaging that can be recycled
and reused. Companies that sell directly to consumers are feeling this
pressure, and they are relying on chemical companies to provide them with
materials to placate their customers. Employees are also demanding that their
employers do more to promote sustainability.
The rise of environmental,
social and governance investing will create another sustainability front for
chemical companies. Some lenders are even issuing loans whose interest rates
are tied to borrowers meeting sustainability goals.
Chemical recycling is one way
that companies can meet these demands from lenders, investors, employees and
ADVANTAGES OF CHEMICAL
Chemical recycling is the ultimate closed-loop system because:
plastics back to feedstocks that can be used to make virgin resin.
It also avoids
some of the problems with mechanical recycling.
recycling, waste plastic is re-processed without being broken down chemically.
recycling, plastics of different grades and with varying additives get mixed
up, resulting in material that is heterogenous. This compromises the qualities
of the material. In addition, each time a plastic is re-heated and
re-processed, it becomes degraded. As the quality of the recycled plastic
deteriorates, it goes into less demanding applications. Ultimately, it ends up
in the trash.
avoids this problem because it breaks down plastic into oils and monomers,
which can be used to make virgin resins.
Polymers such as
polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are chemically recycled through
pyrolysis to produce oil. Pyrolysis can tolerate different grades of plastic,
but the end product is an oil, which often needs further refining before it can
be converted into monomers and new polymers.
plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) can be chemically recycled
into valuable monomers, which require little processing before they can be used
to make new plastics. The problem is that the waste condensation-plastics
cannot tolerate much contamination before they can be recycled.
chloride (PVC) presents its own problems since the chlorine in the polymer can
react during chemical processes to produce harmful byproducts.
Given the challenges for
chemical recycling, mechanical recycling can still play an important role. It
doesn’t require the upfront capital costs involved with building chemical
Ideally, mechanical and
chemical recycling would work side by side with waste-to-energy operations at a
Sorting could be done by
consumer, since this would require little effort on their parts. Plastic
deposit fees – similar to those for bottles or aluminium cans – could give
consumers more incentive to separate and sort their plastic waste.
The logistics involved with collecting plastics is as much of a challenge as perfecting the technologies involved with recycling polymers, be it mechanically or chemically.
Article based on the information of Insight article ICIS by Al Greenwood.
2020 Launch of the European Plastics Pact
the European Plastics Pact
led by France, the Netherlands and Denmark, the European Plastic Pact is a
public-private coalition that forms a European network of companies, states and
other organisations such as NGOs on mastering single-use plastic products and
In the face
of the proliferation of plastic waste, the aim of the pact is to set ambitious
common objectives and to encourage cooperation, innovation and harmonisation at
the European level, in order to bring about a truly circular European plastics
relies on the “pioneers” in the plastics value chain and on the most committed
governments, in order to create a bold movement that will pave the way for the
rest of the market.
works on all levels to reduce the release of plastics into the environment: by
improving the recyclability and reusability of products by design, by shifting
to a more responsible use of plastics, by increasing collection, sorting and
recycling, and by incorporating more recycled materials into new products and
the use of plastics in a circular economy
are everywhere in our daily lives, bringing many economic and environmental
benefits. Plastics are strong, durable and versatile materials. They enhance
comfort, safety and hygiene. Using plastics packaging can increase the shelf
life of products and reduce fuel costs in transportation of goods, helping to
cut carbon emissions. All this has resulted in a huge surge in plastics
production. Over the past fifty years, the global use of plastics has increased
twentyfold and is still growing.
At the same
time, plastic waste is increasingly becoming a global problem, as reuse and
recycling of plastics have not kept pace. This is because many products and
packaging types are not designed for reuse or effective recycling. Not all use
of plastics is necessary for product functionality. In addition, collection, sorting
and recycling are still underdeveloped. This means a significant proportion of
our plastic waste is still being incinerated or goes to landfill, which
negatively affect carbon emissions. Another part ends up as litter in our
environment, where it may harm wildlife or degrade into potentially harmful
microplastics. While all this valuable material is being wasted, the proportion
of fossil fuel being used to produce new plastics continues to grow (from 6% of
oil production now to an estimated 20% by 2050).
plastics waste and pollution at the source, we need to fundamentally rethink
the way we produce, use and reuse plastics. No single organisation or
individual can do this on its own. It requires a systemic shift, involving
collective action by businesses from across the plastics value chain,
governments, and civil society. A common vision aligns all actors on a joint
understanding of what good looks like. It guides the search for solutions and
aligns actions taken in the European Plastics Pact on a common sense of
plastics, the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy has set out
a vision for a plastics circular economy in the EU. For plastic packaging, the
New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, has united more than 400
organisations from across the global plastics packaging value chain behind a
common vision of a circular economy for plastics. These include plastic
packaging producers, consumer goods companies, retailers, companies involved in
the collection, sorting and recycling of plastics, as well as national,
regional and city governments, NGOs, financial institutions, industry
associations, universities and other international organisations such as the
World Economic Forum and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). National
plastics pacts, such as The French National Pact on Plastic Packaging, the
Plastics Pact NL and the UK Plastics Pact have taken action towards the same
common vision for a circular economy for plastics. The European Plastics Pact
adopts this vision, as this provides a global framework for our actions.
Reusability and recyclabilityby design
design all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products brought to the market
by participants to be reusable where possible, and in all cases to be
recyclable by 2025.
Responsible use of plastics
shift towards a more responsible use of plastic packaging and single-use
plastic products, aiming for a reduction in virgin plastic products and
packaging of at least 20% (by weight) by 2025, with half of this reduction
coming from an absolute reduction of plastics.
Collection, sorting and recycling
raise the collection, sorting and recycling capacity in the involved countries
of all plastics used in packaging and single use products by at least 25
percentage points by 2025 and to reach a quality standard of the output of the
collection, sorting, and recycling process that matches market demand for
Use of recycled plastics
boost recycled plastics use in new products and packaging as much as possible
by 2025, with plastics-using company achieving an average of at least 30%
recycled plastics (in weight) in their range of products and packaging.
When it comes to climate change mitigation, plastics have a great story to tell.
Europe can only succeed on the global stage if it drives also the transition towards a low carbon, resource efficient and circular economy. For this to happen, plastics enable the innovations that are needed by a sustainability strategy – such as the European Green Deal – to deliver.
Key for Europe’s building & construction
You do not necessarily see plastics in your building,
but they are there. Plastics are a springboard for the renovation wave in the
building sector as they enable big energy savings and are carbon efficient.
Plastic insulation improves the energy efficiency of your home, which
translates into a positive impact on climate. In fact, it saves up to 80% of
your energy consumption and 250 times more energy than used to produce it.
“Tectonic” shift towards sustainable mobility
You may not be aware of where plastics are used in
your car, but they are doing their job for you – in car body parts, airbags,
carpets, electrification, under the hood, to name but a few.
Thanks to its lightweight properties, plastics contribute efficiently to fuel
savings which translate into lower CO2 emissions in diverse fields of
transport, including electric mobility. Plastics enable up to 35% fuel savings
compared to components made from other materials.
Preserving food from farm to fork
Food waste is one of the biggest challenges of our
society. Plastic packaging saves food by protecting it from external factors –
damage, deterioration, spoilage from farm to fork and ensuring hygiene.
Research shows that, if food were packed in a material other than plastics, the
related energy consumption would double, greenhouse gas emissions would nearly
triple, overall weight of packaging would quadruple, and food waste would increase.
The weight of plastic packaging has been reduced by more than 35% over a 20-year period. Lightweight packaging means lighter loads or fewer lorries needed to ship the same amount of products, helping to reduce transportation energy, decrease emissions and lower shipping costs.
Transforming the energy sector
Plastics enable the production of clean and renewable
energy as windmill blades and solar panels are made with plastics.
In a nutshell, plastics can
make the difference by providing solutions for affordable renovation of
households, sustainable transport, easier access to safe food, clean, reliable
and affordable energy.
“To know the price fluctuations in virgin material, flakes and (food grade) pellets you constantly have to use sources like ICIS. Besides the prices we noticed that also sustainable development targets become more important. This resulted over the last years in an increase of using flakes.”
“Transport of containers on sea and all of the necessary paperwork is quite challenging. We got help of the logistics department of Dutch PET Recycling, their Agent and Freight Forwarder. We learned very rapidly how to do it. For instance a template for a packing list and advise on REX-registration. Al together it saved us time and costs.”
“Actually we were negotiating on prices and conditions. But meanwhile Dutch PET Recycling gave us a truly significant advise in changing the NIR and Colour sorting units in our production line. It improved our quality immediately. They really know what they are talking about.”
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