Technological watch

PureCycle sees Japan as potential PP recycling market

PureCycle Technologies Inc. is attracting more attention for the company's polypropylene recycling technology from the Asia, this time signing on with a major company based in Japan.

Orlando, Fla.-based PureCycle has a memorandum of understanding with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. of Tokyo to develop and operate a PP recycling facility in Japan.

Using technology developed by Procter & Gamble Co., PureCycle is constructing its first recycling facility in Ironton, Ohio, to recycle PP in using a process that creates like-new resin. A second recycling facility is planned for Augusta, Ga.

This latest agreement in Japan is now one in a series of moves the company is taking to expand the technology around the world.

"At PureCycle, we believe we can change society's view of plastic. We want you to see plastic as an ultrapure infinitely sustainable material," PureCycle CEO Mike Otworth said in a video revealing the MOU. "PureCycle's goal is to recycle 1 billion pounds of plastic by 2025. I know working with Mitsui in Japan will help us fulfill our vision of reducing plastic waste across the globe."

Mitsui is a massive Japanese conglomerate with business interests in a wide variety of areas, including minerals, metals, energy, machinery, chemicals, iron and steel products, food, retail and communications.

"Through this new joint project with PureCycle, Mitsui aims to contribute to the overall reduction of plastic waste and the establishment of a circular economy in Japan," said Hiroshi Kakiuchi, chief operating officer of the Performance Materials Business Unit at Mitsui, in a statement.

"By securing plastic waste as the raw material, manufacturing recycled PP resin, and expanding the applications of the material for consumer goods, food containers and automobile interiors, Mitsui aims to make a meaningful contribution to the creation of the more sustainable society," he said.

PureCycle, in revealing the partnership, indicated "Mitsui will help facilitate the pre-construction, on-the-ground operations and will be an integral part of PureCycle's work in Japan."

The Mitsui memorandum follows PureCycle's announcement in mid-August of a similar move with SK Global Chemical of Seoul. The recycling company, at that time, indicated talks ultimately could lead to construction of a PP recycling facility in South Korea.

PureCycle is licensing P&G technology to use solvents to transform used PP into what is described as an ultrapure resin. The Ironton site is expected to begin production late next year.

Publication date: 13/09/2021

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Last update: 2022-01-31