reciChain plastics recycling program expands to Alberta
Canadian PlasticsCanadian Plastics Recycling Sustainability editor pick
Relevant players from the plastics value chain have joined forces in this next phase of the reciChain program.
In a move that aims to speed up that province’s transition to a circular economy, BASF, Cascades, Layfield, London Drugs, Nova Chemicals Corp., Orion Plastics, [Re] Waste and Waste & Recycling Services from Calgary and Edmonton are joining forces to expand the reciChain program to Alberta.
The reciChain program is a technology-enabled ecosystem that brings together all the plastic value chain players to enable circularity, tracking and sorting of recycled plastic.
“Plastics have proven benefits for multiple applications such as food preservation, automotive light-weighting, medical devices, and building insulation, among many others,” BASF Canada president Apala Mukherjee said in a June 1 news release. “Plastic waste, however, poses a major global challenge. To solve this environmental issue, we need to build a more circular economy for plastics through innovation and collaboration across the value chain. This is exactly what reciChain brings to the industry.”
The reciChain concept was created by BASF in Sao Paolo, Brazil and tested with an initial proof-of-concept pilot in 2020 in British Columbia, Canada, which proved circularity by tracking the products lifecycle from pellet to pellet. Now, with the support of Alberta Innovates, the provincial government corporation responsible for promoting innovation in the province, the project is expanding to Alberta to conduct the next phase of the project, which will see the solution through to a semi-commercial phase.
According to BASF Canada, a successful implementation of the reciChain program will support Alberta in achieving results such as: reducing overall contamination levels and increased recyclability; increasing demand for innovative solutions for plastics recyclability; supporting auditability of recycled content supporting Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs; and shifting consumer perspectives on the use of virgin plastics and supporting further brand loyalty for provincial businesses.
To extend the lifecycle of plastics, BASF Canada says, the reciChain program comprises two technology components:
- A physical tracer that identifies and follows key plastic features throughout the value chain and enables the connection of plastic to a digital twin
- A blockchain marketplace developed by the California-based, Web3 start-up Real Items, which creates and translates the digital twin, providing a secure, auditable transfer-of-ownership and assigning incentives to incent participation and offset costs
Once the reciChain program is validated in Alberta’s plastics value chain, BASF says it intends to continue expanding it to tackle the plastic waste challenge, both at national and global levels.