Less Global Warming Potential
Loop’s plastic resin will have 60% less global warming potential compared to virgin products
Loop’s PET will also require 80% less water than virgin PET
Metric Tonnes of CO2
The amount of emissions that Loop’s facilities will be able to avoid annually
The Path to Drawdown: Industrial Recycling
According to Project Drawdown, recycling is the recovery of recyclable post-consumer waste (like metals, plastic, glass, etc.) from the industrial and residential sectors of the economy. Recycling replaces the dumping of recyclable materials in landfills and reduces the need to use new material for production.
Waste from manufacturing, construction, restaurants, office buildings, schools and mines comprises about half of all waste. All that is grouped together as “industrial and commercial waste.” Much of it, though not all, can be recycled, and a variety of approaches can enhance recycling rates.
Some of these approaches are to create marketplaces for secondary materials to facilitate the exchange of recyclable and reusable goods, to innovate conversion technologies to make more materials recyclable, and to adopt circular business models to recapture “waste” as a valuable resource.
Recycling industrial and commercial material can reduce GHG emissions because producing new products from recovered materials often saves energy. As one example, forging recycled aluminum products uses 95% less energy than creating them from virgin materials.
Project Drawdown estimates that, by 2050, a serious commitment to recycling can help avoid 6.02 gigatons of GHG emissions. To get there, recycling practices need to be adopted much more widely that they are now:
- In 2014, 27% of recyclable waste was recycled
- By 2050, 68% of recyclable materials should be recycled
- That’s 2.6% CAGR between 2014 and 2050
If we can achieve this 68% recycling scenario, we can avoid up to 6.02 gigatons of GHG emissions.
Loop Industries (stock ticker: LOOP) is a technology company that recycles no- and low-value plastics to create high-quality plastics suitable for use in food packaging and polyester fiber. Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, their manufacturing facilities in Quebec, South Carolina, and Europe are still in the planning or construction phase.
LOOP's Role in Drawdown
Loop owns patented and proprietary technology that depolymerizes no and low-value waste PET plastic and polyester fiber. These include plastic bottles and packaging, carpet and polyester textile of any color, and even ocean plastics that have been degraded by the sun and salt.
Loop depolymerizes these plastics to its base building blocks, which are called monomers. The monomers are then filtered, purified and polymerized to create virgin-quality Loop-branded PET plastic resin and polyester fiber suitable to be used in good-grade packaging. This depolymerization technology uses low heat and no added pressure. What’s more, this process of breaking down the PET polymers, purifying, and recombining and resulting monomers can be repeated infinitely with no degradation of purity or quality.
Loop sells their PET plastic resin and polyester fiber to consumer goods companies, which helps them meet their sustainability objectives.
Loop’s patented technology has been demonstrated in their Terrebonne, Quebec. Loop and its partner companies are in the planning and construction stages of additional manufacturing facilities in Quebec, Europe, and South Carolina to begin producing Loop’s PET resin at scale.
As of mid-2021, Loop has not generated revenue.
LOOP: What We Like
First and foremost, we’re excited about Loop’s commitment to a circular economy, primarily through its business model of using their technology to manufacture infinitely recyclable plastic resin and polyester fibers, but also signaled through its adherence to flagship initiatives for sustainability:
- Loop industries is a signatory of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment since 2018 and is committed to increase the available supply of PET plastic and polyester fiber made from 100% recycled content for use by consumer goods companies by 2025.
- Loop adheres to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
On a more practical level, we commend Loop for their strategic partnerships with various firms to accelerate the construction of their facilities and the innovation and commercialization process:
- Suez Group and Loop (p. 9) announced their partnership in September 2020 to build the first Loop manufacturing facility in Europe. They’re targeting final site selection in the summer of 2021
- Also in September 2020, Loop entered into a know-how and engineering agreement with Chemtext Global Corporation and INVISTA (p. 8). These agreements will leverage Chemtext’s PET resin and polyester fiber manufacturing know-how and INVISTA’s expertise in the polymerization of dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) and Monoethylene Glycol (MEG), both monomers used in the production of PET
Loop also has an engineering partner, Worley (p. 8), a leading global engineering, procurement and construction company. Through this partnership Loop is progressing on the engineering of their full-scale commercial facilities.