Canadian energy solutions company Klean Industries is set to join forces with the Dow Chemical Company to support Dow’s drive to improve the sustainability profile of plastic packaging.
The collaboration, which aims to recover energy, chemicals and oil from end-of-life waste plastics that would otherwise be sent to landfill, will make it possible to develop low-impact recovery facilities across North America.
In this regard, both the companies have extended a three-year letter of intent to combine technologies, knowledge and resources aimed at providing solutions for end-of-life mixed plastics.
According to Klean, the waste plastics recovery for their energy value provides an opportunity to minimise dependence on fossil fuels, while recovering a valuable resource.
The advanced thermal conversion technology of Klean, which has been developed and used commercially in Japan, is said to capture the inherent value in oil rich packaging plastics.
Klean Industries chief executive officer Jesse Klinkhamer said, "There is a global opportunity with the ever increasing amounts of plastic waste and we are pleased to provide a solution for dealing with it."
Dow team recently visited Japan’s plastics-to-oil recycling plant with Klean, whose company owns the technology IP.
The facility processes mixed plastics, including plastics such as PET and PVC at up to 20% of the in-feed supply besides polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, while producing over 4MWe of green electricity simultaneously.
Klean believes that there is potential for many such facilities around the globe, as millions of tonnes of plastic currently ends up at landfill, and about 950l of oil can be recovered from a tonne of mixed plastic waste.
Besides mechanical recycling, there is a need for complementary methods to reclaim value from used packaging, and there is a tangible market opportunity to maximise the end-of-life plastic packaging sustainability.