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12 Leading Plastic Recycling Companies and Startups In 2024 [Full Review]

Are you tired of the plastic pollution plaguing our planet? Wondering how to make a positive impact? Look no further.

Finding effective solutions is crucial today, where plastic waste poses a serious environmental threat.

This article will examine plastic recycling companies and startups in-depth and highlight 12 top influencers shaping the industry in 2024.

Our comprehensive review will provide the information you need to make a positive impact, whether you’re a conscientious individual looking to contribute or a company interested in adopting sustainable methods.

So, let’s get started!

Why is Plastic Recycling Important?

Plastic recycling is a critical process cornerstone for environmental conservation and sustainable living.

The importance of recycling plastic lies in its ability to mitigate the negative impacts of plastic waste on the environment.

Plastic is non-biodegradable and can persist in the environment for hundreds of years, leading to soil and water pollution and harming wildlife and ecosystems.

Recycling helps to reduce this environmental burden by diverting plastics from landfills and oceans, where they can cause significant ecological damage.

Watch this video by Reactions to learn more:

Moreover, recycling plastics helps save natural resources and energy that would otherwise be used to produce new plastic materials.

It reduces the reliance on virgin materials, such as petroleum, thus decreasing the carbon footprint associated with plastic production.

Conserving resources in the battle against climate change is essential because it results in lower greenhouse gas emissions, a significant factor in global warming.

However, the industry faces numerous challenges despite the pressing need for plastic recycling. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Plastic Recycling Challenges

As said above, plastic recycling faces several challenges, each requiring innovative solutions for progress.

The most important ones are:

Sorting Challenges

Sorting plastic waste correctly is important for recycling, but it’s not easy. There are many types of plastic, and they need to be separated accurately. Recycling centers use advanced machines like optical sensors and infrared technology to do this job quickly and correctly.

However, sometimes plastics are part of complex products with different materials, making sorting even trickier. This means we need to keep improving our sorting methods to improve plastic recycling.

Cleaning Challenges

Before plastic can be recycled, it has to be cleaned well to remove dirt or other debris. This cleaning process can be tough because some things, like food labels and sticky residues, stick to plastic well.

To clean plastic, it’s washed, shredded, and dried to make sure it’s really clean. But this cleaning process can use up a lot of water and energy.

We’re working on finding better ways to clean plastic, like using special machines or chemicals. It’s also important for people to know how to prepare their plastic waste properly for recycling by removing dirt or labels.

Different Types of Plastic Challenges

Plastics come in many different types, and each one needs to be recycled in a specific way.

But it’s hard to tell which type of plastic is used in products because they’re not always labeled clearly.

This makes it difficult to sort them correctly for recycling. We need better labels and more education so that people know which plastics can be recycled.

Scientists are also trying to develop new plastics that are easier to recycle and technologies to recycle more types of plastic.

Infrastructure and Collection Challenges

Not all places have good recycling facilities or ways to collect plastic waste. Some areas have better recycling systems than others because they have more money or people.

This means that not everyone can easily recycle plastic. We must invest in recycling facilities and better ways to collect plastic waste.

Also, we need to tell people more about recycling and how important it is to do it right. Working together can make recycling easier for everyone and help our planet.

Let’s discuss the top 12 leading plastic recycling companies and startups in 2024.

8 Groundbreaking Plastic Recycling Startups

Let’s first talk about the 8 groundbreaking plastic recycling startups in 2024.

PureCycle Technologies Logo

PureCycle

HQ Location
Orlando, Florida, USA
Founded
2015
Num. of Employees
51-200
plastic recycling companies - PureCycle Homepage

PureCycle Technologies is a company focused on sustainable plastic recycling within the waste management industry. Their proprietary technology, developed and licensed by Procter & Gamble, offers a revolutionary approach to recycling polypropylene plastic waste, designated as No. 5 plastic.

This process involves separating color, odor, and other contaminants from plastic waste feedstock to produce Ultra-Pure Recycled (UPR) resin with virgin-like properties.

The technology stands out because it does not rely on a chemical reaction to purify the recycled plastic, making it an eco-conscious choice.

The preliminary lifecycle analysis indicates that PureCycle’s process consumes less energy than new plastic manufacturing, underscoring its sustainability.


UBQ Materials logo

UBQ Materials

HQ Location
Tel aviv, Israel
Founded
2012
Num. of Employees
51-200
UBQ Materials Homepage

The company has developed a patented technology that converts unsorted household waste, including all organics, into a thermoplastic composite material known as UBQ™.

This innovative material substitutes wood, concrete, or oil-based plastics in manufacturing durable products, contributing to a circular economy and reducing the carbon footprint of end-products.

The process begins with the collection of residual solid waste, which is then subjected to stages of automatic refinement. Metals and minerals are extracted and sent to recycling facilities during this phase.

The remaining waste is used as feedstock for the UBQ conversion process.

A series of physical processes trigger a chemical reaction that breaks organic elements into their basic particulate components, such as lignin, sugar, cellulose, and fibers.

These components are then reconstituted into a homogenous matrix and melted plastics to create the UBQ material.

Plastic Energy Logo

Plastic Energy

HQ Location
London, UK
Founded
2011
Num. of Employees
51-200
Plastic Energy Homepage

Plastic Energy has pioneered a patented technology known as Thermal Anaerobic Conversion (TAC), which is central to its innovative approach to recycling plastic waste.

The TAC process begins with heating plastics in an oxygen-free environment, causing them to decompose into hydrocarbon vapors.

These vapors are then condensed into a synthetic oil called TACOIL™, which can be used as a feedstock for creating new, clean plastics.

This process not only diverts plastic waste from landfills and incineration but also reduces reliance on fossil fuels by repurposing end-of-life plastics into valuable resources.

Plastic Energy’s technology represents a significant advancement in establishing a circular economy for plastics, where materials are reused and recycled continuously, minimizing waste and environmental impact.

plastic recycling companies - Repeats Logo

Repeats

HQ Location
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Founded
2021
Num. of Employees
11-50
Repeats Homepage

Repeats Group is a company that has positioned itself as a leader in the recycling of polyethylene plastic waste.

With a focus on transforming post-commercial plastic waste into high-quality resin, Repeats Group employs a best-in-class mechanical process.

This process involves several stages, starting with sorting light plastic waste, then washing and extruding to produce clean pellets. These pellets can then be used to engineer a variety of new products.

Repeats Group, which operates across Europe, has shown its dedication to sustainability through its initiatives to minimize CO2 emissions and waste pollution.

The company has set up a series of facilities to achieve its target of recycling 80kt of plastics annually.

Carbios logo

Carbios

HQ Location
France
Founded
2011
Num. of Employees
51-200

Carbios is a pioneering company in plastic waste management, utilizing a unique enzymatic recycling technology. It is a member of Paris Good Fashion, an association that unites over 100 French players in the sector—brands, designers, and experts—around their commitment to sustainable fashion.

Their innovative approach involves using enzymes to break down PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics, which are commonly found in bottles and textiles, into their fundamental building blocks, or monomers.

These monomers can then be purified and re-polymerized to create high-quality, recycled PET plastics equivalent to virgin PET produced from petrochemical resources.

This groundbreaking technology allows for recycling all types of PET waste, including colored, opaque, and complex plastics that traditional recycling methods cannot process.

As a result, Carbios’ process supports a circular economy by enabling the production of new plastics from 100% recycled materials without losing quality.

  • 100% Recycled: Carbios has successfully created 100% enzymatically recycled white PET fiber from colored textile waste. Simultaneously, they’ve crafted the world’s first 100% recycled PET bottles from the same textile waste.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Carbios has partnered with multinational brands like Patagonia, PUMA, PVH Corp., and Salomone to implement its enzymatic recycling technology.
  • Recycling polyester and blended fibers: Their technology can recycle 100% polyester textiles and polycotton blends containing polyester and cotton fibers, allowing the recycling of a wider range of textile waste streams.
  • Piloting and scaling: After successful lab testing, Carbios is working to scale up and industrialize their enzymatic recycling process through pilot operations and a demonstration plant scheduled for 2025.

Loop Industries logo

Loop Industries

HQ Location
Quebec, Canada
Founded
2015
Num. of Employees
51-200
Loop Industries Homepage

Loop Industries, headquartered in Terrebonne, Quebec, was founded to accelerate the world’s shift towards sustainable PET plastic and polyester fiber, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Their proprietary technology revolutionizes the recycling of PET plastic and polyester fiber waste by depolymerizing the materials into their base building blocks, dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) and monoethylene glycol (MEG).

This process involves preparing and loading various types of PET waste into depolymerization reactors, broken down using low heat and no added pressure.

The resulting monomers are then purified and polymerized to create virgin-quality Loop™ branded PET resin. This resin is suitable for food-grade packaging, such as water bottles, and is made from 100% recycled content.

 

Samsara Eco Logo

Samsara Eco

HQ Location
Sydney, Australia
Founded
2021
Num. of Employees
51-200
Samsara Ecos Homepage

Samsara Eco’s technology is a groundbreaking approach to recycling. It utilizes enzymes to break down plastics into their original chemical building blocks, monomers.

This process, known as depolymerization, allows for creating new, virgin-grade plastics without the need for fossil fuels, making it a truly circular and sustainable process.

The company’s process begins with preparing plastic waste, which is sourced and cold-washed. Hard plastics are chipped, and textiles like polyester are shredded.

The Samsara Eco enzymes then attack the complex polymers, reverting them to monomers.

This step is crucial as it enables the recycling of plastics at the molecular level, which traditional recycling methods cannot achieve.

The monomers are then purified, removing additives such as colorants, which allows for the recycling of colored plastics or mixed bales that traditional recycling cannot process.

Novoloop logo

Novoloop

HQ Location
California, USA
Founded
2015
Num. of Employees
11-50
Novoloop Homepage

Their innovative technology, Accelerated Thermal Oxidative Decomposition (ATOD), is a groundbreaking approach to recycling plastic waste.

ATOD transforms non-recyclable polyethylene plastics, such as bags and packaging, into high-quality chemical building blocks.

These monomers are then used to create thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a material with a wide range of applications.

The process begins with sourcing polyethylene waste, which is often not recycled and ends up in landfills or oceans.

Novoloop collaborates with waste recovery and recycling value chain partners to obtain this waste, providing an incentive to divert it from harmful disposal methods.

The ATOD technology then oxidizes the plastic waste, breaking it down to its molecular foundation. This step not only purifies the material but also significantly reduces CO2 emissions by 70-90% compared to traditional processes.

4 Leading Plastic Recycling Companies

Here are the top 4 leading plastic recycling companies that you must know.

B. Schoenberg & Co.

HQ Location
Kentucky, USA
Founded
1994
Num. of Employees
11-50
B Schoenberg Homepage

They operate with a commitment to quality materials and customer service, reflected in their strategic placement of ten branch offices, two manufacturing plants, and various warehouse facilities across the region.

Their technological approach to recycling involves accepting truckloads of mixed materials, which they efficiently process to produce their own black color concentrate and flexible PVC repro.

They manage long-term total recycling programs and offer proof of destruction certificates, ensuring a responsible end-of-life for plastic products. B. Schoenberg & Co. consumes 200 truckloads per month of flexible PVC scrap, regrind, parts, or purge in their manufacturing plant, showcasing their significant capacity for recycling and repurposing plastic waste.

KW Plastics logo

KW Plastics

HQ Location
Alabama, USA
Founded
1981
Num. of Employees
201-500
plastic recycling companies - KW Plastics Homepage

With a pioneering spirit for developing new markets and technologies to meet tomorrow’s plastic scrap recycling demands, KW Plastics has established a reputation for innovation and quality.

KW Plastics utilizes its advanced technology, developed through years of in-house research, to reprocess various HDPE and PP materials.

This produces top-notch products that can be used at concentrations of up to 100% in various applications.

Their process involves collecting plastic scrap, which is then meticulously sorted, cleaned, and transformed into resin. This resin is used to manufacture new plastic products, effectively closing the loop on plastic waste.

The company has become a frontrunner in the industry due to its dedication to excellence and significant ability to process various materials.

It offers recycled plastic resins that fulfill the demanding requirements of both processors and end-users, establishing itself as a leader in the field.

plastic recycling companies - Suez logo

Suez Recycling & Recovery Holdings

HQ Location
Paris, France
Founded
1858
Num. of Employees
10,001+
Suez Homepage

Suez’s technology in recycling plastic waste involves a comprehensive process that includes collection, sorting, and recovery.

The collected waste is sorted using advanced technologies to separate different types of plastics. The recovery process transforms the plastic waste into granules or powders through milling, shredding, and micronization techniques.

Industrial producers can then use these materials, contributing to the circular economy by giving plastic waste a new life as high-quality recycled raw materials.

Additionally, Suez employs depolymerization, a method that allows the recycling of complex plastic materials that were previously non-recyclable.

Thus, the quality of recycled plastics is enhanced to match that of virgin plastics produced by petrochemicals.

 


Arqlite logo

Arqlite

HQ Location
Santa Ana, California, USA
Founded
2015
Num. of Employees
11-50
Arqlite Homepage

Arqlite is a company that specializes in recycling plastic waste, particularly difficult-to-recycle plastics.

Their innovative technology allows them to process complex and mixed plastics without the need for pre-sorting, simplifying and making the recycling process more cost-effective.

This technology can handle up to 10 tons of hard-to-recycle plastics per hour, transforming them into eco-friendly, low-carbon materials.

The recycled plastics are used to create a product called Smart Gravel, a sustainable alternative to traditional Gravel.

Smart Gravel is lighter, offers ten times better insulation, and is three times lighter than mineral gravel. This makes it a great option for various uses, including drainage, backfill, and even as a medium for hydroponics and planting.

Conclusions

In conclusion, the problems with recycling plastic are big, but many companies and startups are finding clever ways to solve them.

Sorting, cleaning, and dealing with different types of plastic are tough challenges, but new technologies and better education are helping us overcome them.

These companies are making a difference by caring about quality, being creative, and considering the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of plastics do these companies recycle?

These companies recycle a wide range of plastics including PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP, and other commonly used plastics found in packaging, containers, and various products.

What innovative methods are these companies using for plastic recycling?

They employ methods such as chemical recycling, mechanical recycling, advanced sorting technologies, pyrolysis, and biodegradable plastic alternatives.

How do these companies contribute to reducing plastic waste?

By converting plastic waste into reusable materials, reducing landfill use, minimizing environmental pollution, and promoting a circular economy.

What products are made from recycled plastics by these companies?

Recycled plastics are used to make new packaging, building materials, textiles, consumer goods, and various industrial products.

How can consumers support plastic recycling efforts?

Consumers can support these efforts by properly sorting and recycling plastics, purchasing products made from recycled materials, and advocating for policies that promote recycling.

Are these companies focusing on any particular sectors?

Yes, they are focusing on sectors such as consumer goods, packaging, construction, automotive, and textiles, where plastic use is significant

What challenges do plastic recycling companies face?

Challenges include contamination of recycling streams, high costs of recycling processes, market demand for recycled plastics, and the development of efficient recycling technologies.

How can businesses collaborate with these recycling companies?

Businesses can collaborate by adopting sustainable packaging solutions, integrating recycled plastics into their supply chains, and partnering on recycling initiatives and innovations.

References

OECD.org: Plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short
ScienceDirect: Environmental impacts of polypropylene (PP) production
EEA: Climate Change Mitigation: Reducing Emissions
PetResin.org: How PET is Made?

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