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US $ 25 million investment! BP plans to recycle plastic into polyester for apparels

Oil bigwig BP plans an investment of US $ 25 million in a pilot plant!

The objective is to test new technologies that could convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into all types of polyester waste infinitely recyclable into virgin-quality feedstocks for apparels.

BP Infinia is the recycling technology that allows transforming PET plastic waste into new, virgin-quality feedstock for clothing, industrial fibre products and packaging.

This helps reducing and eliminating the amount of plastics being dumped into the landfills or incineration.

Speaking about the technology, Tufan Erginbilgic, BP’s downstream, Chief Executive, said “We see our Infinia technology as a game changer for recycling PET plastics. It is an important stepping stone in enabling a stronger circular economy in the polyester industry and helping reduce unmanaged plastic waste.”

The technology works on depolymerisation process, which chemically converts complex PET plastic waste back to original monomer feedstocks.

Further, it also purifies these building block monomers into recycled purified terephthalic acid (rPTA) and recycled monoethylene glycol (rMEG), which would then be interchangable with those from traditional hydrocarbon feedstocks.

The technology can convert the difficult-to-recycle PET plastic wastes including black food trays and coloured bottles into recycled feedstocks that are interchangeable with those made from traditional hydrocarbon sources, but can also be recycled again and again.

The plant is expected to be operational in late 2020.

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