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Celebrating Mother Earth Day

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Recognized by the United Nations, April 22nd, 2024, marks a significant celebration of Mother Earth Day.

Planet Earth is home to millions of species, fauna and us, humans. However, since the industrial revolution dating back to the late 18th century, pollution levels have surged, natural resources are used at an ever-increasing pace, and plastic pollution has become ubiquitous, infiltrating every aspect of our lives. As we become more technologically advanced, we also keep increasing the global population, but Earth’s natural resources keeps depleting at higher rates, and we reach Earth’s Overshoot Day (where humanity consumes nature’s resources for the year) earlier every year. As we witness rising CO2 emissions, climate change, and the dire consequences of unmanaged plastic waste, it's evident that urgent action is imperative to secure a habitable environment for future generations. We have one Earth, we need to take care of it.

There are 400M tons of plastic produced every year, out of which 14M tons end up in the ocean![1] It is also estimated that less that 10% of plastics are recycled. That means over 90% of plastics are not recycled, most of which end up in the landfills, burned or in the environment.

Furthermore, plastic is pretty much in everything: Bottles, packaging, plastic plates, cups, shoes, clothes, cosmetics, hygiene products, many of which are single-use products etc. If you are wearing a t-shirt today, there are good chances it’s partially made of polyester, which is plastic. You probably also recently bought a bottle of water in a shop, that bottle was made from PET plastic. Once they arrive in the natural environment, there are no natural organisms that can digest and process plastics there at a large scale. Under the influence of sun, wind, salt, water, plastics become brittle and crumble into smaller pieces. Microplastics are born.

But let’s look at the bright side, there are some people and companies that want to tackle this problem and leave the planet a better place for our future generations.
At DePoly, back in 2020, our 3 co-founders pioneered an innovative solution to recycle PET-based products by breaking them down back to their raw monomers, known as PTA (purified terephthalic acid) and MEG (mono ethylene glycol). This virgin-grade PTA is the raw building blocks of PET to then be “rebuilt” again into a new, recycled product. The end goal is to create a sustainable circular economy for plastics, that breaks from the produce-use-throw away model. It is estimated that by 2050, 20% of worldwide oil will be used to create new plastic. With the DePoly technology, we can recreate new plastic without having to use oil and therefore largely eliminate the need to extract further fossil fuels from Mother Earth.

Our solution is scalable, does not require extra heat or pressure and most of all, does not require the feedstock to be pre-processed such as, separated or washed (in comparison to established systems). Our reaction targets the PET elements and breaks them back down to their raw monomers. Our current Pilot Plant located in Switzerland can recycle up to 50 Tons per year, and we are starting the construction of our Showcase Plant, also located in Switzerland, that will be able to absorb 10 times more feedstock and be operational in 2025.

Overall, our solution reduces carbon footprint, increases the supply of recycled virgin-quality PET, and fosters a sustainable circular economy for plastics. We want our future generations to look back on us and see that we have taken action towards the problem we created, and effectively given them a chance to enjoy and live a life on Mother Earth the way we did, or even in a better condition. We have one Earth, we need to take care of it.

Are you a company or plastic producer? Are you curious about one of our samples and looking at an alternative to traditionally produced PTA? Contact our team for a joint project:


Category / General
Published / April 22, 2024
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