We discuss the incredible opportunity set and challenges that exist in plastic recycling. The recycling industry is witnessing remarkable innovations in dealing with the systemic contamination problem. However, whether industrial or consumer, recycling plastics with hundreds of different grades and thousands of potential contaminants makes breaking down first-use products into a transportable near virgin stock for second-life use is complicated and expensive. The success of companies such as Nexus and Agylix revolves around reliable and scalable access to feedstock that is currently unavailable. Automation processes are improving rapidly, but with scalable feedstock trailing behind government regulations for second-use inputs, it is conceivable that the cost of this feedstock will rise appreciably over time. Recycling and, therefore, the development of the circular economy will have to evolve locally, as the transportation of feedstock over more than 100 miles destroys the economics.
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MP Robotics just raised $91mm for a Series C round to continue its expansion as one of the world’s most innovative recycling firms.
Jodie Morgan is the CEO of Nexus Circular, an advanced recycling company that accelerates plastic recycling.
Tim Stedman is the CEO of Agilyx, a company that provides integrated solutions for plastic recycling, including both, chemical recycling technology and feedstock processing expertise.