Only a small fraction of the plastic we use every day is currently recycled. In order to use more plastic waste as a replacement for fossil resources, innovative technologies are needed to ensure that plastic can be recycled as efficiently and effectively as possible. To this end, at Brightsite the Upwash technology created by TNO is being further developed and prepared for upscaling to industrial scale.
Rinke Altink, program manager for Renewable Resources at Brightsite explains: “A lot of plastic waste recycling is needed to provide the replacement of all fossil raw materials for plastic production. So much that there will even be a scarcity of good, clean plastic waste. Suitable plastic waste for recycling is not easy to be found. After the initial collection, sorting, washing, grinding, and granulating, the plastic must be separated and purified to ensure quality for new plastic production. At Brightsite we are looking at what technologies are needed for this.”
Rinke Altink, Brightsite program manager:
“The Upwash technology is one of the ways to extract more good quality plastic from waste streams and thus promote circular development.”
Intervening at the front end of the chain
“The focus is on converting clean plastic waste into new raw materials for polymers. The current quality and quantity of plastic from collection and sorting does not meet the quality and quantity that will be demanded by the chemical industry. At Brightsite we are investigating how we can better align these two qualities and at the same time significantly increase the amount of suitable plastic waste.”
We are focusing on so-called ‘mixed plastic wastes,’ which remain after sorting all the plastics that can be mechanical recycled. The Upwash technology is one of the ways to extract more good quality plastic from these waste streams and thus promote circular development,” Altink says.
Pedro Abelha, scientific researcher TNO:
“Plastic products need to be developed on how well they can be recycled. A turnaround that is going to positively influence the composition of our plastic waste.”