Waste carpets turned into ultra-pure polypropylene

Proctor & Gamble’s PureCycle Technologies has successfully created a process that can turn waste carpets into odourless and clear ultra-polypropylene (PP) resin.

Carpets made from polypropylene are hardwearing and easy to clean, but at the end of their life, they are often thrown away, which is not environmentally friendly.

Polypropylene can be recycled, but most councils do not accept carpets in their recycle bins. Carpet Recycling UK collects carpets for recycling and is making some impact on reducing carpet waste. At the PureCycle Ohio plant in the USA, the company has demonstrated that it can recycle polypropylene carpets on a large scale, and plans to process 119 million pounds of waste PP when the plant comes fully online in 2021.

High-quality recycled polypropylene is in demand for making a number of products. The PureCycle system removes odour, colour and impurities to produce a virgin-like resin. The firm is now planning to build PP recycling plants in Europe.

Kathy Fish of Proctor & Gamble says:

”This technology, which can remove virtually all contaminants and colours from used plastic, has the capacity to revolutionize the plastics recycling industry by enabling P&G and companies around the world to tap into sources of recycled plastics that deliver nearly identical performance and properties as virgin materials in a broad range of applications.”

Polypropylene carpets in Chester homes and businesses are popular for their low cost and durable qualities. At the end of its life, a carpet should be recycled wherever possible.