Innovation That Matters

PureCycle has developed a solvent-based purification recycling technology, for restoring waste PP into an ultra-pure resin. | Photo source PureCycle

PureCycle makes a deal for a new plant in Japan


PureCycle, whose technology converts polypropylene waste into near-virgin plastic, has signed a new deal to open a plant in Japan

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Spotted: PureCycle Technologies is a Nasdaq-listed company that is revolutionising polypropylene (PP) recycling. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer that is widely used in a huge number of products. While it is possible to recycle PP, the traditional process involves melting the PP and extremely high temperatures, making it an energy-intensive and expensive process. In contrast, PureCycle has developed a solvent-based purification recycling technology, for restoring waste PP into an ultra-pure resin. 

Now, PureCycle has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with global investment company Mitsui & Co., Ltd to develop and operate a recycling facility in Japan dedicated to transforming PP waste into ultra-pure recycled polypropylene. Mitsui hopes the plant will help it to reduce plastic waste and develop a circular economy for PP in Japan.  

Mitsui plans to use plastic waste as the raw material, using it to manufacture recycled PP resin, then use the resin to create new consumer goods which in turn would be recycled. PureCycle is constructing a recycling facility in Ohio, and has pre-sold more than 20 years’ worth of output from the facility. The company has also recently announced construction of another plant in Augusta, Georgia. 

Mike Otworth, PureCycle CEO explains the motive behind the partnership: “We believe Mitsui is the best partner for PureCycle to help us lead and navigate the process of building an ultra-pure recycled polypropylene plant in Japan. Through the collaboration with Mitsui, we are now one step closer to our goal of reducing plastic waste across the world and revolutionizing the way people use plastic products. There is no reason polypropylene waste shouldn’t be recycled and transformed into ultra-pure, sustainable polypropylene.” 

There is no shortage of ideas for recycling plastic – and that is a very good thing. As the world wakes up to the severity of the plastic crisis, and the energy expenditure of recycling, there is a need for more efficient plastic recycling processes. At Springwise, we have seen innovations that include eco-wool made from plastic bottles and plastic waste turned into fashion. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff

Explore more: Sustainability | Agriculture and Energy | Science and Environment



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