Plastic industry and plastic waste recycling is on the brink of a technological breakthrough: it is becoming possible to clean and recycle used plastic better, in a more efficient and sustainable way.
The problem with the majority of recycled plastics is bad odour and low technical properties, that seriously limits its reuse. Blue Plastics puts high-quality circular plastics within reach, by developing an innovative cleaning method that produces odourless plastics, closely corresponding to prime material.
By teaming up with industry partner TCR Plastics, and with support of Innovation Fund of North-Holland, Blue Plastics aims to bring its innovation to the recycling industry and to propel circular usage of polymers.
In October 2020, Blue Plastics team have joined forces with TCR Plastics, a global player and distributor of plastic granulate. The goal is to take plastic recycling to a higher level by developing and implementing a recycling technology that is more efficient, better and cheaper.
Stephan Damer, business manager at TCR Plastics in Breda, explains the motivation behind the investment decision: “The participation in Blue Plastics is in line with TCR’s long-term ambition to have at least 30% of its turnover in recycled plastics. In order to achieve this, TCR is committing with capital and efforts to support promising research and start-ups involved in plastic recycling.
Our core business is to supply plastic granulate to meet market demand. We entered the recycling market back in 2006 with the acquisition of Ovimo Plastics. But the playing field is rapidly changing, and qualitative recycling is going to play a major role in the future and will be the a sought-after solution for the circular use of plastic. We are participating in a unique project that has all the characteristics of a revolutionary breakthrough, and by investing in Blue Plastics and building the pilot plant, we are taking a big step forward. This cooperation is a result of a shared vision of making a serious and sustainable contribution in solving the plastic waste problem.”
Supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the Innovation Fund North-Holland is an initiative of the Province of North Holland, the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam UMC and Sanquin. The fund helps entrepreneurs in the Province of North-Holland with financing innovations during the proof-of-concept phase.
Director at the Innovation Fund North-Holland Wouter Keij, is convinced about urgent need for innovation in the recycling sector: “It is difficult to properly recycle used plastic using existing techniques and therefore it is often incinerated or landfilled. Blue Plastics has developed a unique cleaning process that makes high-quality granulate suitable for new or the same applications. The amount of plastics used each year is raising with the increasing world`s population. Innovative recycling process of Blue Plastics will contribute to circular material flows within the agricultural, transport, packaging and other sectors.”
MOVING TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
European directives aim to raise plastic recycling rates to 55% by 2030, alongside encouragement demand from the industry to encourage the plastic recycling industry to innovate the plastic recycling industry at a rapid speed.
Blue Plastics` technology has the potential to make a serious contribution to those goals already in the foreseeable future. At CHILL (Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs) in Geleen, the core of Blue Plastics` process is now successfully running on a laboratory scale. In the coming months, this process is going to be upscaled to a pilot plant on the Brightlands Campus and later on, to the industrial recycling facility.
“As an entrepreneur I know how important it is to find the right partners. Since the establishment of our company, Climate-KIC and RVO have made a major contribution to our success”, says co-founder of Blue Plastics, Tatiana Novoseltseva. “Our mission with Blue Plastics is to bring innovation to the current recycling industry, making plastic a sustainable and circular raw material. But we cannot achieve this alone. It is very important that all participants in the plastic value chain contribute to the change and take responsibility for their impact. We are very proud and happy that TCR Plastics and Innovation Fund North-Holland believe in this project as well. Together with them and our other partners, we will be taking the next steps towards a more sustainable economy.”