PureCycle Technologies to expand into Asia

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Even as PureCycle Technologies finishes up work on its first factory in Franklin Furnace, the company is expanding overseas.

On Monday, the company announced that it had signed an understanding with SK Global Chemical as a first step to building a polypropylene (PP) recycling facility in South Korea.

“Partnering with the leading recycling waste company in South Korea is a major milestone for PureCycle,” said PureCycle CEO Mike Otworth. “We are bringing together a premier team of experts to achieve our goal of recycling one billion pounds of polypropylene waste by 2025. The sad reality is that ninety-one per cent of plastic waste is not recycled. That is exactly why our work with SK Global Chemical will be incredibly important to reducing plastic waste and helping society view plastic as an infinitely sustainable material.”

PureCycle in known for its process of turning used polypropylene, one of the most commonly used plastics, into a resin that is pure enough it can be used in packaging for food and only uses a fraction of energy that it takes to make virgin resin.

Currently, only approximately one percent of the 170 billion pounds of polypropylene consumed last year was recycled as compared to almost 20 percent for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), according to the American Chemistry Council.

“At SK Global Chemical, we are focused on leading circular systems for plastics with top-notch technology, and that is why PureCycle is the perfect partner for us to continue this focus and amplify our goals,” added Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Global Chemical.

The agreement will lead to the development of solvent-based recycling operations in Asia Pacific and add to the facility locations already growing across the United States.

The company said the construction of PureCycle’s flagship recycling facility in Franklin Furnace is well underway and expected to begin commercial production this fall.

PureCycle has already pre-sold more than 20 years of UPRP output from the Franklin Furnace plant.