Proctor & Gamble uses a lot of plastic in its business, much of it for containers and packaging. Many of those containers are made from polypropylene, an especially tough, long-lasting plastic that is hard to recycle.
Working in collaboration with PureCycle Technologies, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Innventure, Proctor & Gamble says it has perfected a process that results in recycled polypropylene that is odor-free and snowy white or clear in color — which makes it highly desirable to a range of manufacturers. The process could potentially be adapted to other hard to recycle plastics.
It involves a decontamination and deodorization process that originated in Proctor & Gamble’s laboratory that resulted from the company’s desire to use more recycled content in its products and packaging.
At scale, PureCycle will be able to process more than 105 million pounds of recycled polypropylene every year. This new process is a solvent-based, nonchemical one, which has been key to its efficiency.
PureCycle will begin a trial of the process at a plant in Ironton, Ohio, this fall and expects to have a commercial-scale facility in operation in 2020.
They have received financial backing from the Closed Loop Fund, which invests in circular economy innovations to support recycling.
Reference- Clean Technica, Closed Loop fund website, PureCycle website