Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the recycling sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising plastic recycling companies.
Global Startup Heat Map highlights 5 out of 99 Plastic Recycling Companies
Through the Big Data & Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering over 3 790 000+ startups & scaleups globally, we identified 99 plastic recycling solutions. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the 5 plastic recycling companies you should watch as well as the geo-distribution of all 99 startups we analyzed for this research.
Based on the heat map, we see high startup activity in Europe and Eastern USA, followed by Western USA and India. These plastic recycling startups work on solutions ranging from plastic upcycling and chemical decomposition to sludge transformation and more.
List of Plastic Recycling Companies
ReNew ELP – Plastic Waste To Chemicals & Oil
The rapid production of plastics in the world results in a disproportional increase in plastic waste. This waste is present practically everywhere in our environment. Due to the thousands of years that it takes for plastic to decompose, it causes harmful effects on the environment today. As a result, startups are rushing to develop solutions to recycle plastic waste and create useful byproducts.
British startup ReNew ELP provides a platform for converting end-of-life plastics into useful high-grade chemicals and oils. The startup’s process to convert plastic waste involves the use of a patented Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor, which uses water at supercritical temperatures, to create valuable by-products.
Loop Industries – Dimethyl Terephthalate (DMT) & Monoethylene Glycol (MEG) Separation
PET-based plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental challenges today. According to data collected by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are an estimated 14 million tonnes of PET-based plastic as solid waste. Meanwhile, the increasing rate of plastic waste is damaging our ecosystem. As a result, many startups have developed methods to convert solid plastic waste into reusable products.
Canadian startup Loop Industries develops a patented PET-based plastic depolymerization process, which separates DMT and MEG from the plastic waste. These by-products are then used to make new plastic packaging that leads to a reduction in plastic pollution in the ecosystem. Additionally, this process requires a lower amount of heat and pressure when compared to conventional conversion methods.
Brightmark Energy – Plastic Waste To Fuel
Startups are developing methods to convert waste plastic into new reusable plastic and other materials. However, these methods limit the types of plastic waste to convert and, thus, create an additional task of sorting waste. In order to include a broader range of recycling plastic waste types, startups develop technologies to convert solid plastic waste into fuel. This consequently eliminates the need for sorting as it focuses on processing a variety of plastic types together.
The US-based startup Brightmark Energy specializes in converting organic and inorganic waste into renewable resources. The startup’s plastic conversion process recycles all types of plastic into commercial-grade ultra-low sulfur diesel, naphtha (gasoline), and wax. This process is designed to be easily scalable as well as to help cities significantly reduce their plastic pollution.
PURA Loop – Sludge Transformation
Not all plastic garbage resides in the form of solids, such as plastic bottles, cartons, and boxes. Waste generated by many industries, and their processes, stays in the form of sludge. Moreover, the liquid nature of this waste makes it difficult to process with conventional technologies. Moreover, plastics mixed in sludge are not suitable for sorting or separation by any traditional means. This is where emerging companies develop novel technologies to process sludge and separate the useful by-products.
Hong Kong-based startup PURA Loop builds solutions for the treatment and recovery of non-recyclable hazardous industrial sludge and mixed plastics. The company’s technology treats the waste at a molecular level through microwave-enhanced catalytic pyrolysis technology. The entire process requires no pre-processing or sorting of waste and results in various compounds as end products that are later utilized across multiple applications.
Novoloop – Chemical Decomposition
Plastic waste management is a challenge and building the capacity to handle plastic waste is an even bigger challenge. At this time, plastic waste processing solutions require complex machinery and high temperatures or pressures. This acts as a prohibitive barrier to market entry. For this reason, startups are creating solutions using chemicals to break the bonds between plastic molecules without additional equipment or other external factors.
The US-based startup Novoloop develops Lifecycling, a circular economy for plastic waste. Through its novel ATOD technology, it transforms hard-to-recycle polyethylene into valuable chemical building blocks with a lower carbon footprint than fossil fuels.
These building blocks are then formulated into high-performance materials like TPU. For example, Novoloop created a running shoe outsole using Lifecycle TPU made from plastic waste, demonstrating how the process upgrades discarded materials into valuable new products.
Discover All Plastic Recycling Companies
The Circular Economy startups showcased in this report are only a small sample of all startups we identified through our data-driven startup scouting approach. Download our free Circular Economy Innovation Report for a broad overview of the industry or get in touch for quick & exhaustive research on the latest technologies & emerging solutions that will impact your company in 2023!