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Recycling Breakthrough!

July 5, 2017

by: Janet Aslin, Bridges for Peace

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We produce a lot of garbage in our instant, prepackaged society. Landfills around the world are overflowing with solid waste products. Yes, many people are recycling their plastics, paper and glass but can we do more? Infimer®, an Israeli company, has discovered a new process for treating unsorted garbage. The end result is an amazing raw material that can be used to manufacture any number of new products.

The breakthrough technology is able to take unsorted, unwashed solid waste from municipal landfills and separate the organic and plastic from the minerals (including metals, glass, rock, sand). The process can also be used with pre-sorted plastic waste.

The lighter weight material (organics and plastics) which results from the first step in the process is then squeezed and ground. The next step is to feed the treated waste into a special “reactor-extruder” which uses pressure and heat to produce pellets, a novel thermoplastic material trademarked with the company’s name, Infimer®.

Current plastic recycling requires that different types of plastic be separated as well as other challenges and it produces material that cannot be recycled. In contrast, products made from the Infimer® pellets are infinitely recyclable. The new material also “has high resistance when exposed to UV light and to very low temperatures” .

Infimer’s® new technology has the advantage of nearly unlimited raw materials in municipal landfills and a process that is both cost-effective and energy-efficient. This will help reduce dependence on the price of oil, which is used in the original manufacture of plastic.

Currently Infimer® is being used in the manufacture of sturdy toolboxes, folding work tables, deck tiles and pallets. The company is relatively young, having finished its production trials and entered into the stage of accepting and fulfilling orders just two years ago. More products made from this innovative process are sure to follow!

Photo Credit: Mohamed Abdulraheem/shutterstock.com

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