DEMETO (Modular, scalable and high-performance DE-polymerization by MicrowavE TechnolOgy) is a European Project financed by the European Community into the framework of the Horizon 2020. The partners of the consortium are working to bring to reality a revolutionary new way to chemically recycle PET, invented by gr3n, which is both sustainable and profitable.
The Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of DEMETO is a committee of stakeholders external to the project that will interact with the partners of the Consortium to follow its public developments and, most of all, provide feedback and comments to steer the direction of its business development activities. The IAB already consists of 16 companies involved in the complete PET/polyester value chain at different level, including: top brands of home textile, sportswear textile, fashion textile, home and personal care and drinks, as well as plastic converters, waste collectors and recyclers.
DEMETO and The Coca-Cola Company share a common interest in closing the loop of the Plastics Circular Economy. As one of the largest beverage producers worldwide, The Coca-Cola Company relies on PET in various applications, from transport to packaging, and has been long been recognized as an industry leader in supporting and enabling PET recycling.
Maria Luisa Polli, Technical Director, Coca-Cola Central and Eastern Europe said: “Consumers around the world expect companies like ours to be leaders and help make a litter-free world possible. Through our ‘World Without Waste’ vision, we are investing to help make the world’s packaging waste problem a thing of the past. We will do this through a renewed focus on the entire packaging lifecycle – from how bottles and cans are designed and made, to how they’re recycled and repurposed. Producing PET from recycled plastic in a sustainable and profitable way is an important step forward. That is why we are thrilled to work with DEMETO and the broader industry to help make new revolutionary technologies available in support of a circular economy.”
“As Demeto project coordinator and lead for the design and construction of the pilot plant, we are proud to work with The Coca-Cola Company on the Demeto project,” said Gaetano Iaquaniello, Processi Innovativi Managing Director. “The Coca-Cola Company represents one of the largest users of PET in the world and the fact that this project has raised the company’s interest means that producing PET from recycled plastic is indeed an important step forward in environmental protection by the major players in this sector.”
“We are thrilled to have the possibility to cooperate with The Coca-Cola Company, which has a public goal to use 50% recycled PET in its plastic packaging by 2030”, said Maurizio Crippa, Inventor of gr3n technology. “This represents another bold step towards the potential realization of the circular PET.”
By joining the advisory board of DEMETO, The Coca-Cola Company supports the first European Project to build an industrial plant for chemical recycling of PET. Although PET is one of the most widely used materials in the packaging industry, only 20% of it is recycled and enters back into the value chain. Even in Europe, a large amount of PET waste (including coloured, complex and contaminated materials) ends up being incinerated or disposed into landfill. Together with its partners, DEMETO addresses this challenge by introducing a clean, safe and profitable method to treat difficult-to-recycle PET.
Unlike mechanical recycling, DEMETO’s technology allows a complete recovery of PET without any degradation of the material. Thanks to its innovative technology, DEMETO will be able to return post-consumer PET into its basic components, Ethylene Glycol (EG) and Terephthalic Acid (PTA). The process is enhanced by microwave radiation to speed up the reaction time and to make it suitable for industrial application. Since the resulting PET is designed to be competitive to virgin PET in both quality and costs, DEMETO offers a serious alternative source of raw materials to the plastics industry, and aims to enable up to 100% recycled content in packaging at parity cost to virgin resin.