Blog Posts

Tackling the Unrecyclable: How We’re Transforming Wet Rejected Plastic Waste


Global plastic production has significantly increased over the years, reaching almost 400 million metric tons per year in 2021. According to a report by Statista, plastic waste is one of the biggest issues facing the planet today, with its impacts stretching far and wide. 


Wet plastics, especially, pose a major challenge in waste management due to the difficulty of recycling them. In this blog, we will explain the global issue of wet plastic waste and SynPet’s innovative approach to promoting environmental sustainability.


What Is Wet Plastic Waste?


Wet plastic waste includes plastics contaminated by liquids or moisture, making them unsuitable for regular recycling. These plastics are mostly exposed to rain, liquids from food or drinks, or improper disposal.


When plastics are contaminated by liquids, recycling them becomes more challenging due to the increased complexity of the sorting and separating process. Additionally, moisture degrades the quality of recycled plastic, diminishing its usefulness for manufacturing new products.

wet rejected plastic challenges

Examples of wet plastics include beverage bottles with liquids, food packaging with residues, used plastic bags with moisture, and disposable cups with liquids. Also, condiment containers, plastic utensils with food residues, and packaging from perishable goods pose the same challenges in traditional recycling due.


Why Is Plastic Recycling Essential?


Plastic poses significant environmental challenges that merit attention. Here’s a concise overview of its adverse impacts:


At the forefront is the issue of pollution. Improper disposal leads to plastic infiltrating oceans and rivers, causing harm to marine life. Additionally, in landfills, plastic exhibits remarkable longevity, complicating waste management endeavours.


As plastic production relies on petroleum, it inadvertently contributes to the depletion of forests. The escalating demand for plastic correlates with an increased need for clearing land for oil drilling and refining.


Moreover, the production of plastic exacerbates climate change by emitting greenhouse gases. This adds to the ongoing environmental crisis, with implications for both human and wildlife habitats.


Beyond environmental concerns, plastic poses a direct threat to human health. Laden with harmful chemicals, it has the potential to contaminate food and water sources, leading to health issues such as cancer and reproductive problems.


In essence, addressing the environmental implications of plastic usage is not only a matter of ecological responsibility but also pivotal for safeguarding human health and the broader ecosystem.


Therefore, there is a need for sustainable waste management and the adoption of circular economy principles to migrate these issues.


Challenges of Wet Rejected Plastics in Recycling


Conventional technologies, such as pyrolysis or gasification, can only process certain types of plastic waste and require them to be very clean, separated, and dried. Therefore, wet-rejected plastics pose several challenges in traditional recycling methods, creating obstacles to efficient waste management.


Key difficulties of recycling wet plastics include: 


  • Moisture in plastics hinders effective sorting in recycling facilities.
  • Liquid from wet plastics can contaminate other recyclables in the same recycling stream, such as paper and cardboard.
  • Moisture interferes with recycling, making breaking down and reshaping plastics into new products harder.
  • Moisture creates maintenance challenges and increases operational costs for recycling facilities.
  • Recycled materials from wet plastics have lower market value due to compromised quality.


Chemical recycling is one of the best ways to address the challenges of plastic recycling, especially for contaminated or wet plastic waste. Now, let’s explore how chemical recycling revolutionises the waste management processes.


Advantages of Chemical Recycling

Chemical recycling has emerged to make plastic waste more manageable and sustainable. Unlike traditional methods that may have limitations on the types of plastics they can handle, it can process a diverse range of plastic materials, including those with varying levels of moisture and contamination.

advantages of chemical recycling

With the advanced technology behind chemical recycling, producing high-quality end products, such as new plastics and chemicals, is possible. This new plastic reduces the dependence on fossil-based alternatives and can be seamlessly integrated into various applications.


Another significant benefit of chemical recycling is promoting a circular economy, which involves keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems. This approach helps minimise resource depletion.


Promising Solution: SynPet’s Innovative Technology

SynPet Technologies has developed a unique technology called TCP™, Thermal Conversion Process, that can recycle all types of waste plastics into a product called circular naphtha.


Naphtha is a petrochemical feedstock, a complex mixture of hydrocarbon molecules with 5 to 12 carbon atoms. Companies can use this circular naphtha to create new products with the same quality as conventional naphtha.


Here are the 3 steps involved in SynPet’s innovative chemical recycling process:

  • Depolymerisation:
  • Organic and inorganic substances undergo treatment with water under constant heat and pressure.
  • This process separates the materials, and organic-based components are advanced to subsequent stages of chemical recycling.
  • Hydrolysis:
  • Carbon-based molecules undergo a water gas shift reaction, where hydrogen and hydroxide attach to target carbons.
  • This reaction frees carbon from contaminants, and a subsequent decarboxylation removes oxygen from hydrocarbon chains, producing pure, long hydrocarbon chains.
  • Cracker (Thermal Cracking):
  • Thermal cracking is initiated by elevating the ambient temperature above 450 degrees.
  • This process shortens the chains of long-chain hydrocarbons, resulting in the production of high-quality products in the final stage of chemical recycling.

SynPet’s TCP™ technology is unique because it can recycle all waste plastics, including those that have never been recycled before, such as shredder residue, without requiring pretreatment.


Join SynPet’s Chemical Recycling Revolution

SynPet’s innovative solution revolutionises traditional recycling methods, especially for wet plastic waste. 


With TCP™, SynPet offers a transformative path forward, reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste and steering us toward a future where sustainability and innovation intertwine for a cleaner, more resilient planet. 


Through its cutting-edge technology, SynPet has partnered with Kolmar Group AG to invest in the Port of Antwerp to create a circular economy and reduce fossil fuel consumption.

By recycling all waste plastics, SynPet contributes to sustainability and saves significant CO² emissions compared to landfills and incineration.


This innovative approach marks a vital step towards a greener future in waste management. It reinforces the importance of advanced solutions, like chemical recycling, in solving the global plastic waste problem.


Embrace the future of waste management by teaming up with SynPet and contributing to a circular economy.

Contact Us Now!