A California firm says it’s developed the world’s first thermoplastic polyurethane made out of post-consumer polyethylene waste. The stuff has mechanical efficiency properties akin to industrial, virgin-grade thermoplastic polyurethane (aka TPUs). In different phrases, the corporate known as Novoloop is taking issues like grocery baggage, meals packaging, bubble wrap, shampoo containers and milk jugs and turning them right into a product known as XIRC.
This XIRC is sweet information as a result of it comes with a decrease carbon footprint than virgin TPUs, an alternative choice to artificial rubber and silicone present in merchandise like shoe soles, cellphone instances, and automotive flooring mats and interiors.
XIRC “remains flexible at low temperatures, exhibiting high elasticity, outstanding abrasion resistance, and superior dry and wet grip, making the product an ideal choice for footwear, sporting goods and automotive applications,” the corporate says in a information launch.
Right now, Novoloop is making XIRC utilizing family waste from San Jose and its waste processor InexperiencedWaste Recovery Inc., together with extra from a plastic processor from southern California. The polyethylene plastic is collected and sorted utilizing present tools.
Novoloop CEO Miranda Wang explains that Novoloop’s technology targets the most typical type of plastic waste: polyethylene, additionally utilized in most industrial capabilities like agricultural plastics used to develop meals and that plastic movie that covers pallets and building supplies.
“These plastics are mostly landfilled or incinerated today because it’s very hard to recycle them into quality products,” Wang says.
“Novoloop was founded with the vision to be the most transformational materials company by showing the world what can be done with plastic waste. We do it by inventing and providing the most useful and sustainable polymers.”
Novoloop says testing by third-party certification firms SGS and Intertek has validated that XIRC performs comparably to industrial, virgin-grade TPUs (and typically even higher). The firm says it’s working with an unnamed producer to supply extra XIRC to fulfill rising demand.
The secret behind XIRC is also being saved below wraps. Novoloop makes use of a chemical course of known as ATOD, which stands for Accelerated Thermal Oxidative Decomposition and breaks down polyethylene into proprietary chemical constructing blocks.
Novoloop then harvests the constructing blocks and builds a cloth (XIRC), which Wang says is value as much as 50 instances the worth of the plastic waste from which it got here. Wang compares the method to taking aside an undesirable LEGO construction and turning it into one thing cool, like a spaceship.
“XIRC can be widely used in consumer products and industrial applications … We’re already developing partnerships across the globe. Exciting product announcements are coming soon …”
In the tip, the XIRC incorporates as much as 50% post-consumer polyethylene. The manufacturing course of cuts carbon emissions by 45% in comparison with typical manufacturing, in line with a life-cycle evaluation cited by the corporate. XIRC is also recyclable.
Investors backing the corporate, previously often known as BioCellection and based in 2015, embrace TIME Ventures (the funding fund for Marc Benioff), Mistletoe, Elemental Excelerator and SOSV.
Wang says the age of oil is over: Plastic waste is the brand new useful resource. And that might change the world. Novoloop hopes to see XIRC curb the equal of 685 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
“With the exception of PET polyester, commonly seen as water bottles, no other post-consumer packaging has been recycled into high-performing products,” the CEO says.
“But what if sooner or later, packaging waste can truly develop into the fabric that makes the product itself?
“In the future, we can live in a world where manufacturers mine landfills and use plastic waste as the new resource, and plastics are made to stay in a cycle.”