Dr. Mike Biddle sees piles of waste as “above-ground mines” containing valuable raw materials.
The challenge, of course, is extraction .. which leads us to metals and plastics … particularly plastics.
What You Didn’t Know About Plastics
Plastics are not a throwaway material and are, in fact, far more valuable than steel. That’s because metals are much easier to separate and recycle. Traditional separation tactics don’t work for plastics.
In what he calls “the last frontier of recycling,” Biddle says his company (MBA Polymers) has “broken the code,” enabling recyclers to pull plastic out of the waste, sort the products by grade and color, and create plastic “pellets” — the currency from the plastics industry. The new process works at lower capital cost; has enormous energy savings; enables plants to make any type of plastic; allows customers to enjoy huge CO2 savings; and make sustainable products.
At the end of his TED presentation, Biddle referred to the tendency of toddlers’ to grab as much “stuff” as they can hold on to, declaring “It’s mine; it’s mine.” Up until now, he says, nobody wanted plastic. Now Biddle definitely wants plastic and declares, “Your stuff is my stuff.”