A new factory is being built in Amsterdam that will use previously unrecyclable plastic and convert it to fuel to power diesel cargo ships. Bin2Barrel, a Dutch waste management company set up in 2012 is building the pioneering and potentially revolutionary factory. The company was established by Floris Geeris and Paul Harkema, as UNEP reports.
Bin2Barrel was able to kickstart the project with the aid of a Dutch government grant, and by collaborating with the Port of Amsterdam. If everything goes according to plan, the first batch of plastic converted into fuel to power the cargo ships will be ready before the end of this year. The ultimate plan is to construct four of such “plastic to fuel” factories close to the Amsterdam port. Company sources say they hope to convert 35,000 tons of plastic garbage into 30 million liters of fuel in the first year of operation.
The Maritime Industry Can Now Use Plastic Fuel to Power Their Cargo Ships
Bin2Barrel is not the first company ever to introduce the technology used to convert plastic to fuel, but they are the first to apply it to a commercial purpose. Authorities at the Port of Amsterdam calculate that over 57,000 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions would be reduced every year with the new plastic fuel. This would go a long way to reduce CO2 emissions and its resultant impacts on our world.
Apart from the massive benefit of reducing CO2 emissions, the initiative will also go a long way in reducing plastic accumulation and aiding waste disposal. Before the creation of the new factory, the plastic they are using was not able to be recycled and was either incarcerated or dumped in landfills.
The maritime industry will also derive great value from the initiative because the generated plastic fuel will be used to power diesel ships and diesel is expensive to extract, transport and dispose of. The diesel that would be produced in Bin2Barrel factories using plastic waste will contain 80% less carbon-dioxide than the amount found in conventional diesel.
Bin2Barrel Aims to Use Chemicals from Recycled Plastic to Produce Newer Products
“Bin2Barrel introduces innovative and urgently needed technology that will enable us to make use of a currently non-recyclable flow of waste in a manner that makes perfect sense,” said Roon van Maanen, Head of Circular & Renewable Industry at the Port of Amsterdam. “By creating a new product from an otherwise problematic waste, this factory will help the Port transition towards a circular economy.”
Plastic waste has been the bane of environmentalists worldwide. Since plastic is non-degradable, it often ends up in oceans and poisons or ensnares marine life, while also causing untold air pollution leading to global warming. Environmental advocates have been campaigning for less reliance on fossil fuel, seeing “plastic to fuel” as an intermediate solution. Bin2Barrel aims to use their current technology to break down plastic garbage into chemical components that can be used to develop newer plastic products.