Our Projects

Infinite Plastic Recycling – Solving the Plastics Crisis

Project description and overview:

This project aims to develop advanced manufacturing processes for the recycling of waste plastic. The project will establish a pilot plant for an innovative plastics recycling facility using revolutionary technology developed by Samsara Recycling. The technology enables the sustainable and low energy recycling of plastic polymers (PET, Nylon, Polyurethane etc.) through the use of proprietary enzymes.

The pilot plant will break down plastic (polymer) waste into its original building blocks (monomers) for reuse to manufacture new food-grade plastics and polyester. Building a prototype process facility will provide Samsara Eco with the opportunity to refine its technology before moving into scale production. The pilot plant will have the capacity to process 20 tonnes per day.

Samsara Eco has developed a unique enzyme (a biological catalyst) technology for plastic recycling. The technology converts post-consumer PET plastic and polyester – polymers made of ethylene glycol and terephthalate building blocks (monomers) – back to these original monomers to allow re-synthesis into virgin-quality plastic. This process, which has >95% yield, allows for infinite plastic recycling. Samsara Recycling technology allows 100% of PET to be recycled, including coloured, multi-layered and other hard to recycle post-consumer waste.

Samsara Eco have used computational enzyme redesign, and synthetic biology enabled high-throughput engineering to develop the enzymes. These methods will give them a competitive edge as they continue to optimise the enzymes over time to address Polyamides and Polyurethane.

The Samsara Eco process is economical, with a low carbon footprint, and produces food-grade recycled plastics with the same structural integrity as virgin plastics. The process can handle currently hard to recycle plastics, including coloured plastic, multi-layer plastics and mixed plastics.

This project will build capability in Australia to divert up to 100,000 tonnes of waste PET per year from landfill and generate an equivalent volume of PET for the Australian plastic industry.

EXPECTED IMPACT

  • Increased spending on R&D
  • Larger patent portfolio
  • Increased number of staff with science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills
  • Better qualified employees
  • Better energy efficiency
  • Higher product value density (by weight)
  • Higher trade intensity

EXPECTED GROWTH

  • Samsara Eco forecast $118.75M in revenue over 5 years

EXPECTED JOBS

  • This project is projected to upskill and create an additional 55 jobs during the project and one year after project completion
Contributions:

Government Funds: $568,490​ | Industry: $568,490

Project Participants