INNOVATION: Solving the planet's plastic problem by closing the recycling loop.

03. Januar 2019 | Waste, Plastics | via

The international Statistic of the Year for 2018 from the Royal Statistical Society is 90.5%: this is the shockingly high proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled.

Euronews visited the laboratory of gr3n (, a start-up founded by Maurizio Crippa, an Italian inventor convinced that he can close the recycling loop.

gr3en has developed a machine capable of isolating polyethylene terephthalate, known as PET, the most widely used material in the clothing and packaging industry.

This process, called depolymerization, is sped up by the microwave reactor of a prototype machine.

(Credit: Euronews)

The result is a precious oil that comes out of the machine. Once purified, it will be possible to extract virgin PET, which will be used to produce plastic, or clothes. The loop is therefore complete.

The project won the 2018 Innovation Radar Prize in Vienna, at the beginning of December.

Solving the planet’s plastic problem by closing the recycling loop. (Credit: Euronews)