Quiz time. Grab the nearest disposable plastic container (perhaps the soda bottle on the desk or his tray of frozen lunches in the freezer). Check the small triangular recycle symbol.
What kind of plastic is it? Or, more importantly, do you know how easily that piece of plastic can be recycled?
1-7 recycling codes are widely used in today’s consumer packaging. But that doesn’t make it any easier for the average consumer to understand what the numbers really mean.
That’s where advanced recycling companies like Nexus Circular come in.
Carla Tothnew in Nexus Circular The Senior Vice President of Business Development explained that Nexus has become a leader in pyrolysis-based advanced recycling.
This is where our quiz knowledge about plastics comes in handy. Pyrolytic recycling is ideal for low density polyethylene (recycle code #4) found in flexible packaging films, shopping bags and stretch wrap. Polypropylene (recycling code #5) from medicine bottles, yogurt cups, and microwave-safe plastic trays. and polystyrene (#6 recycled code).
“One of the main reasons residential curbside recycling programs do not use these materials is that their end use is not clearly defined,” added Toth. “Nexus has proven to be able to provide a consistently stable and safe outlet for collection of difficult-to-recycle types of plastic.”
Nexus converts traditionally difficult-to-recycle materials into liquid products and sells them to global offtake partners such as Shell, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Braskem, helping reduce reliance on fossil-based materials.
Nexus’ business model is to build a circular supply chain. That’s because the company “takes hard-to-recycle plastic out of landfills and then goes back through the process to produce new virgin-quality plastic. Offtake he’s a partner,” Toth added. “These supply partnerships enable companies to achieve their waste reduction and zero waste to landfill goals, a win-win-win for Nexus, our supply partners and the environment. ”
Convert to cash with advanced recycling
Atlanta is home to Nexus’ headquarters and employs more than 90 people. Many of the people who work in Atlanta are involved in the engineering, supply chain, operations, and commercialization parts of the business.
The Nexus concept dates back to 2007. That’s when founder Jeff Gold read about a company that uses pyrolysis to transform single-use plastic bags into the original molecular building blocks.
“An entrepreneur at heart, with curiosity and a background in practical chemistry, Jeff founded Nexus in 2008 using a bench-scale process to develop conversion technology. It expanded from a bench scale headquarters in Atlanta, WA to a pilot production facility.
Cox Enterprises came knocking right away.
The global conglomerate invested in Nexus in 2015 to help scale the startup’s commercial expansion efforts. By manufacturing and selling commercial dose liquid products, Nexus helped him divert 7 million pounds of plastic from landfills.
Cox reinforces its commitment by announcing an additional $150 million in Nexus.
Equity round makes Cox Enterprises majority owner of Nexus Circular.
“Cox is a great fit in the cleantech space to partner with companies in the commercial demonstration stage. and willingness and ability to validate. [It] Nexus has supported Nexus throughout its commercial execution phases as the Nexus team has consistently achieved progressive performance milestones that demonstrate the economic viability and scalability of the technology,” added Toth.
Cox Enterprises is certainly a known entity in the Atlanta startup community. In addition to powering Techstars Atlanta, we are also a corporate sponsor of the Engage program.
‘Recycling is a team sport’: the next step in advanced recycling
Advanced recycling is one of the key areas in the wider sustainability tech scene. The scene is expanding particularly rapidly in the Southeast as states such as Georgia and North Carolina become innovation centers for clean energy.
This commitment to sustainability means good things for companies like Nexus.
“Recycling is a team sport and everyone has a role,” added Toth.
“Companies are committed to changing the trajectory of plastics in the environment, and sustainability pledges are driving real change and investment. , create innovative new recycling technologies and drive additional investment in recycling infrastructure and ecosystems as a whole.” “We also see that businesses and consumers alike value plastic as a reusable resource. As we collectively understand the intrinsic value of plastics,nd for continuous recycling. ”