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The plastic pollution problem has met a formidable foe in DePoly, a deep tech company that is using its unique chemical recycling process to tackle the world’s growing plastic waste challenge.
DePoly, based in Switzerland, announced it has successfully raised $13.8 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round, with a goal to scale its ground-breaking solution in the global consumer packaging and textile industry.
Every year, the world produces over 400 million tonnes of plastic, but less than 10% of this is recycled. The majority ends up in incineration centres or landfills, wreaking havoc on the environment.
DePoly’s innovative approach to this crisis involves converting all types of PET plastics and polyester textiles, which are primarily derived from fossil fuels, back into their key raw chemical components. These components are then sold back to the industry to create new, virgin-quality plastic items, heralding the advent of a truly sustainable circular plastic economy.
The funding round was co-led by BASF Venture Capital and Wingman Ventures, with additional participation from Beiersdorf, Infinity Recycling, CIECH Ventures, Angel Invest, among others.
DePoly’s chemical recycling process operates at room temperature and standard pressure, eliminating the need for pre-washing, pre-sorting, pre-melting, or separating out other materials. It can process PET and polyester streams that are usually rejected by the conventional recycling system, including mixed plastics, mixed colours, dirty plastic waste streams, fabrics, and fibres. This versatile and energy-efficient technology is quickly implementable and can be customised to suit a customer’s specific needs.
“Plastics are an existential dilemma facing us all. By recycling pre- or post-consumer and post-industrial plastics that would otherwise be incinerated or landfilled, we aim to eliminate plastic waste, create a sustainable source of chemicals, and reduce our carbon footprint by up to 65%,” commented Samantha Anderson, CEO and co-founder of DePoly.
As of now, DePoly operates a pilot plant capable of processing 50 tonnes per year of complex PET or polyester plastic streams. The company is working on building a new showcase plant with a capacity of 500 tonnes per year to exhibit the technology at a commercial scale.
“We strongly believe in the potential of the DePoly technology as it bridges a crucial gap in circular PET usage by preserving desired quality standards effectively. We are looking forward to supporting DePoly and the development of this new recycling solution for us and the cosmetics industry,” said Michael Becker, vice president: global packaging R&D at Beiersdorf.
DePoly was launched in 2020 by Samantha Anderson, Bardiya Valizadeh, and Christopher Ireland. With the support of their expertise and PhDs in chemistry and engineering, they developed this unique chemical recycling process to tackle the pressing issue of plastic pollution.