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New chemical-based method for recycling PET

July 18, 2019 / Ashwini Sakharkar

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of the most widely used plastics today. PET bottles are ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives–one has to look around to spot a PET bottle containing mineral water or soft drink or used for other applications. However, the technology for PET recycling already exists, but the systems are currently out due to several limitations. For instance, there is no real way to create plastic bottles made altogether of recycled PET – probably a portion of the crude materials must be new.
Now, an EPFL based startup named DePoly has come up with a chemical-based method that can effectively recycle PET containers. Unlike existing technologies, it additionally breaks down the plastic into its base compounds. Samantha Anderson, founder & CEO of DePoly and a Ph.D. student at the Laboratory of Molecular Simulation (LSMO) at EPFL’s Valais-Wallis campus said, “With the new method, PET containers don’t have to be sorted by color, me...