I have always dreamed of traveling to Amsterdam. I want to see the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Heineken Experience, among so many other things. I just found out about another thing I want to see in Amsterdam.
It’s a new factory that’s being built in the Port of Amsterdam that uses new technology that takes plastic which traditionally was deemed unrecyclable, and uses it to make fuel for diesel-powered cargo ships.
According to marinelink.com, Dutch company Bin2Barrel was founded in 2012 and is the first company to be able to use the chemical recycling technology commercially.
The online report says:
“Thanks to a partnership with the Port of Amsterdam and a grant from the Dutch government, the plant is expected to begin operations by the end of 2018. If all goes well, this will be the first of four such ‘plastic to fuel’ factories to be built near the port. In the initial year, it’s estimated that 35,000 tonnes of garbage will be converted into 30 million litres of fuel, giving value to materials that would otherwise go to waste.
The project provides a multitude of environmental benefits across the entire value chain. The Port of Amsterdam estimates an annual 57,000 tonnes reduction of CO2 emissions.”
And of course if it has to do with plastic, it has to do with waste management:
“The most obvious benefit is in waste disposal. Plastic used by the factories is not suitable for traditional recycling and until now it was either burnt or ended up in landfills. By converting it to fuel, the plastic gets a new life and doesn’t enter the environment as trash.”
“Critics of waste to energy argue that this sort of technology impedes the growth of truly renewable forms of power, such as solar and wind. However, the proponents of such recycling models argue that factories such as these are necessary, as they offer a more environmentally friendly option than those reliant on fossil fuels and at the same time address the ever growing plastic pollution challenge.”
Are you starting to see a circle form here? Perhaps even a circular economy?
I like the idea of producing goods that are made from a material that we know for a fact can be broken down into its various chemical components and then taking those components to make more goods.
For now, however, if Bin2Barrel is looking for more plastic to convert, someone please let them know there is a source that’s twice the size of Texas floating adrift in the Pacific Ocean.
Please, tell me…what is your vision of a truly circular economy?