Mura Technology, a company based in the U.K., has announced a partnership with Dow Chemicals, one of the largest global manufacturers of plastic. The partnership will support the rapid scaling of Mura’s new HydroPRS (hydrothermal plastic recycling solution) process to prevent plastic and carbon from entering the environment.
The deal is part of Dow’s commitment to advance a circular economy for plastics and reduce plastic waste in the environment. According to a news release from Dow on the partnership, Dow will provide its material science and financial resources to work in partnership with Mura to produce the 100 percent recycled plastic feedstock that global brands require to eliminate plastic scrap from their supply chains.
“Plastic pollution is a global crisis, and our goal is to meet the challenge head on by eliminating millions of tons of plastic waste every year and turning it into a valuable resource for the world’s biggest brands,” says Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology. “We’re changing the way the world thinks about plastics, not as something to throw away, but as a product that can be used repeatedly and sustainably, without damaging our natural environment. Our partnership with Dow will cement that way of thinking for global brands and deliver a circular plastics economy globally within the next decade.”
Mura’s proprietary solution, HydroPRS, is a recycling process that uses supercritical steam to convert plastics back into the oils and chemicals for use in new virgin-equivalent plastic products. Mura says HydroPRS can recycle all forms of plastic, including multilayer, flexible plastics used in packaging, considered “unrecyclable.” The recycled products may be suitable for use in food-contact packaging, unlike conventional recycling processes.
There is no limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled with Mura’s process, meaning it has the potential to eliminate single-use plastic and make the raw ingredients for a circular plastics economy. In addition, Mura reports that advanced recycling processes are expected to save 1.5 tons of CO2 per ton of plastic recycled compared with incineration.
The first plant using HydroPRS is in development in Teesside, U.K., with the first 20,000 ton-per-year line expected to be operational in 2022. Once all four lines are complete, it will be able to recycle 80,000 tons of plastic scrap per year, providing Dow with chemicals and oils produced by the process. Dow will use said materials to develop new, virgin-grade plastic to be recirculated into global supply chains, creating a circular plastics economy.
“We are delighted to offer our investment and expertise to support the development of this truly game changing recycling process,” says Carsten Larsen, commercial director plastic circularity EMEA & APAC, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “We are committed to enacting real change to stop plastic from going to waste and accelerate moves towards a more circular economy. We know achieving this goal will take major innovation and investment, and we can’t do it alone. That’s why our partnership with Mura is so exciting and why we believe it will form a key pillar of our recycling strategy going forward.”
Alongside its first plant in the U.K., Mura has identified development opportunities in Germany, the U.S. and Asian markets, as part of a rapid global rollout that will see one million tons of recycling capacity in development worldwide by 2025.