Norwegian waste management firm Geminor and Quantafuel have come together to create ‘Polynate’, a new company to sort plastic waste from residual waste to supply chemical recycling plants. Polynate will be providing plastic waste to Quantafuel’s chemical recycling facilities located in Norway and Denmark, and its proposed plant in Sunderland, U.K..
Ralf Schöpwinkel, the former Chief Operating Officer of Geminor, who specializes in Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF), will now lead Polynate. He commented that at the moment, they don’t intend to build their own collection fleet in the UK. Rather, they will utilize the already established waste industry infrastructure. They plan to study single stream collection systems, and evaluate the potential of removing plastic out of the RDF and residual waste stream.
He continued that with the increasing cost of carbon dioxide emissions and the boom in the chemical recycling sector, plastic sorting would be essential.
Quantafuel unveiled plans last year for a pyrolysis-powered plastics-to-oil facility at Port of Sunderland, anticipated to begin operating next year and create 100 jobs, and be able to process 110,000 tonnes of plastic from the north of England, which would be converted into oil for the manufacture of plastic.
The matter of plastic export remains the source of many debates, with politicians proposing an absolute ban to stimulate domestic recycling capabilities, yet some holding the opinion that such a strategy is unwise. Similarly, the fast-growing chemical recycling industry remains at the centre of disagreements over its environmental implications, as supporters contend that all possible solutions must be considered to address plastic waste.
Polynate intends to develop further in the UK, as Kjetil Vikingstad, CEO of Geminor, pointed out, it is a crucial step to acquire more market share and secure advanced downstream solutions for plastics. He added, “It has become increasingly important to sort plastics from residual waste to provide more feedstock for plastic products and to lower the fossil content of waste going to energy recovery.”
Quantafuel runs a 20,000-tonne capacity chemical recycling plant in Skive, Denmark, a similarly-sized sorting and mechanical recycling plant in Kristiansund, Norway, and is projected to open a 160,000-tonne sorting facility in Esbjerg, Denmark by the end of this year. Geminor currently oversees more than 1.7 million tonnes of waste, supplying material to 180 recycling and energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities across Europe.