Plastics Technology

JUL 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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butts, and industrial waste. TerraCycle collects, converts and sells more than 100 waste streams in over 20 countries around the world that were originally destined for landfills. It was only natural for the company to venture in the beach waste space. Sarah Teeter, the company's global project manager of beach plastic, says TerraCycle offers unique recycling solutions to give these waste streams a second life. TerraCycle engages with organizations that are already conducting beach cleanups. Previously, material gathered by these groups would be landfilled because of contamination of the material through exposure of the elements. "We're working with NGOs (nongovernmental organizations), municipalities and other beach cleanup efforts, and instead of sending material to landfill we are offering a free recycling solution for a more circular option," she says. The recovered material is shipped to one of TerraCycle's ware- houses where the staff manually sorts non-compliant items that are considered contaminants, such as organic matter, flexible plastic bags and films, rope, and fishing nets. Once that work is complete, the rigid plastic waste is sent to another processing facility where it is separated by type, cleaned and converted into a usable new format. Teeter says that P&G came to TerraCycle in late 2016 with the intention to raise awareness of the marine debris epidemic. The company hoped to recycle plastic that came from beaches into a limited-edition Head & Shoulders shampoo bottle offered in France. "We thought it was doable to collect beach plastic to convert the material into viable resin that could be used for the Head & Shoulders bottle," Teeter says. "Since then we have been able to build up a global network of collectors and a successful supply chain to produce a viable resin with this material. There were a lot of technical challenges along the way that we were able to overcome thanks to our in-house R&D group and the technical teams within P&G and their their bottle molders." For this project, TerraCycle and P&G worked with Paris-based waste-management company Suez for the different stages of processing, including mechanically sorting the material to separate HDPE, PET, etc. The plastics are shredded, washed and dried to "Instead of just little one-offs and one-time runs with a little bit of ocean plastic, Envision decided that we're making this commitment in an effort to bring comfort to brands, so they can commit too." 34 JULY 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com The 192 countries with coasts bordering Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean and Black Seas, produced a total of 2.5 billion metric tons of solid waste. Of that, 275 million metric tons was plastic, and about 8 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010. Graphic: Lindsay Robinson/University of Georgia. Plastic Waste Inputs from Land into Ocean in 2010 1 Plastics Europe: Plastics-The Facts 2013 (2010 Data); 2 Cozar, et al., 2014; Eriksen, et al., 2014 270 Million Metric Tons Global Plastics Production 1 275 Million Metric Tons Total Plastic Waste 99.5 Million Metric Tons Coastal Plastics Waste 31.9 Million Metric Tons Coastal Mismanaged Plastic Waste 8 Million Metric Tons Plastic Waste Going into the Ocean 6350-245,000 Metric Tons 2 Estimated Mass of Plastic Waste Floating on Ocean Surface Generated by 2 Billion People Within 30 Miles of the Coast Mitigation Options: Reduce Plastic in Waste Stream Increase Capture Improve Solid-Waste Management Infrastructure OCE AN PL A S TIC S

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