(ORDO NEWS) — Chemicals and aerospace manufacturer Honeywell International announced that it has developed a new way of converting low-grade plastic waste into oil of sufficient quality for use in a refinery.
Honeywell is currently partnering with Spain‘s Sacyr SA to expand its Upcycle Process Technology (hereafter Upcycle). If all goes according to plan, the alliance of producers could turn 30,000 tones of mixed plastic waste into oil a year. Production is scheduled to start in 2023.
As the world‘s plastic waste continues to pile up, industry players are looking for ways to make recycling not only viable, but also profitable enough to make an important contribution to the fight against environmental disaster. While we have yet to see if this will actually be deployed on an industrial scale, not to mention the attendant costs, it is still a courageous effort and a potential solution to a growing problem.
When it comes to recycling plastic waste, Honeywell, based on years of experience, claims that Upcycle can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste in the world, 90% of which can be recycled.
This is a big leap considering that currently only about 2% of plastic waste is being “redeemed”. Roughly half of plastic waste is simply burned or dumped in landfills, and a shocking 30% ends up in the oceans and other bodies of water.
Our dependence on plastic materials won’t go away anytime soon.
“Plastics play an important role in our society, including for extending the shelf life of food and lightening vehicles that reduce emissions,” said Vimal Kapoor, CEO of subsidiary Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, in a press release. “Unfortunately, today only a small fraction of the plastic can be successfully recycled.”
Then Kapoor added:
“By expanding the number of types of plastics that can be recycled, Upcycle will revolutionize the plastics economy and play a critical role in improving the sustainability of many products we use every day.”
Whether Honeywell has the key to solving our huge plastic waste problem remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that this is a very important step forward
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