The company says the production of plastics in Europe has multiplied 150-fold over the last 50 years with only 25 percent of the 25 million metric tons of plastic waste produced being recycled.
Through Suez Environment’s subsidiary SITA, the company says it has a manufacturing tool in Europe capable of sorting and preparing more than 400,000 metric tons of plastic waste each year, 135,000 metric tons of which are recycled by its nine specialist plants.
To achieve its goal of doubling its production of recycled plastics, Suez Environment is looking to develop partnerships with industries that are major consumers of plastic to work together on “tailored solutions” for the provision of high-quality recycled plastics. To this end, the company is opening PLAST’Lab, which will analyze, test and classify plastic materials and formulate new ranges of plastics from recycled plastics that meet the demands of manufacturers.
Bacteria from the guts of a worm known to munch on food packaging can degrade polyethylene, the most common plastic, according to research reported in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
The scientists say the finding could lead to new ways to help get rid of the otherwise persistent waste, well-known for sticking around in the environment for years without breaking down, contributing to litter and landfills.