Plans revealed for industrial-scale microwave-assisted plastic recycling

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Plastics recycler gr3n has revealed plans for an industrial-scale plant using microwave technology to produce PET.

The Swiss-headquartered firm signed a memorandum of understanding with Spanish engineers Intecsa Industrial to develop the innovative facility.

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Delivery of the project is expected to begin next year with the plant scheduled for operation from 2027, producing up to 40,000 tonnes of PET per year.

Gr3n’s microwave-assisted depolymerisation technology breaks down plastic into monomers that can be re-polymerised to provide something similar to virgin material.

The process creates the potential for bottle-to-textile, textile-to-textile and even textile-to-bottle recycling, according to the company.

Maurizio Crippa, founder and chief executive at gr3n, hailed a “huge step” forward in the firm’s plans.

Ramiro Prieto, commercial and new business units director at Intecsa Industrial, said gr3n “has the potential to change the recycling industry”.

The plant could save almost 2 million tons of carbon emissions during its operating life.