The consumer goods group Unilever, the PET manufacturer and recycler Indorama and the Dutch start-up Ioniqa have launched a partnership to advance the development of a new PET recycling technology. The process, developed by Ioniqa, was already successful at the pilot scale and is now entering industrial-scale testing, Unilever said Wednesday.
According to Ioniqa, its proprietary technology is capable of breaking down any PET waste, including coloured packaging, to base molecules and separating the colour and other contaminants. The molecules can then be converted back into PET. The resulting material was equivalent to the virgin material currently manufactured by Indorama, said Unilever.
“If proven successful at industrial scale, in future it will be possible to convert all PET back into high quality, food-grade packaging,” said the project partners. The companies believe that this new technology could lead to an industry transformation, since it could be repeated indefinitely.