Rethinking Waste — Towards a Sustainable Future

During my recent work with a multinational consumer goods company, for the first time in my life, I was able to properly educate myself about the plastic waste industry. I learned how such market giants are determined to bring a change in their product manufacturing processes towards creating a circular economy. To help their sustainability goals, as a Sogeti consultant, my aim was to retrieve and visualize details about the global Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), and Chemical and Mechanical Recyclers.

As per the Ellen MacArthur Foundation,

A circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources.

Mechanical recycling typically uses technologies that retain the original physical form of used plastics; that is, the plastic material (resin) remains mostly the same during mechanical recycling. The used plastics typically are sorted, cleaned, shredded, melted, and then re-extruded into plastic pellets. These pellets are then used in new plastic packaging and other products.

Chemical/ Advanced recycling typically alters the physical form of used plastics, either by dissolving the plastic with chemicals or using heat to break down plastics into their original components. The results are plastics in a purified form or chemical products and feedstocks that are then used to create new plastics, fuels or other products.

For the plastic product manufacturers, establishing a circular economy means to defeat the linear economy model of using virgin Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in their products. With this as the ultimate goal, our client aims to incorporate 12%-16% of recycled colored plastic in manufacturing shampoo bottles by 2022.

To read the whole post and interact, please visit the Medium site:  Rethinking Waste - towards a sustainable future

  • pooja walia
    Pooja Walia
    Senior Consultant