Cyclyx International has introduced a plastics recycling program in collaboration with corporations, retail establishments, universities and municipalities with a goal to increase the recycling rate of the material from 10% to 90%.
The consortium-based plastic waste company, which includes members Dow, Sonoco, Chevron Phillips Chemical and LyondellBasell, seeks to divert low-quality plastic waste from landfills and into the Cyclyx system. The program, called the 10 to 90 Challenge, aims to expand the range of plastics that are recycled, including materials not traditionally accepted due to poor quality, contamination levels or the chemical makeup of the plastics.
Cyclyx says it will roll out the program with organizations to help build a community-based platform to accelerate plastic recycling locally in the near term with a goal to impact recycling rates worldwide in the long term. The 10 to 90 brand will introduce takeback and educational programs, incentives and engagement tools to encourage increased plastic recycling, the company says.
The UN Environment Programme estimates that the total amount of plastics recycled is around 10% and that 300 million metric tons of plastic waste is produced each year. It says the level of greenhouse gas emissions from the production, use and disposal from fossil-fuel based plastics is forecast to grow to 19% of the carbon budget by 2040. The UN recently released a resolution to end plastic waste.
In the United States, the EPA estimates less than 9% of the nearly 36 million tons of plastics generated in 2018 were recycled. Although the agency says certain types of plastics, such as PET bottles and jars and HDPE natural bottles, were recycled up to 29% of the time.
The World Wildlife Fund’s Resource: Plastic program is another group of businesses and organizations that have tackled hard-to-recycle plastics. Members of that group, which includes Starbucks, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble, reduced hard-to-recycle and single-use plastics by 57% between 2018 and 2020, the WWF says.
California also adopted a microplastics reduction policy and other programs, such as one by Solvay and Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials to recycle and reuse plastics in the healthcare industry, are becoming more common.
Cyclyx hopes the 10 to 90 program will increase the types of plastics recycled in addition to the amount of material that is recycled. The group says the materials can then be recycled for a range of products by consortium members.