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Recycling Plastics, Reusing Water

Recycling Plastics, Reusing Water

Published 04-18-23

Submitted by DOW

Washing Machine

Recycling plastics can save landfill space and conserve energy and water that would have been used to make new materials, among other benefits. But mechanical recycling also comes with its challenges.

To ensure high-quality post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic resins, recycled plastics must be cleaned. The optimization of this process can be challenging, especially removing contaminants and properly separating materials, as well as controlling foam during the required washing steps.

That is why Dow has developed an innovative washing technology called EVOWASH™. It supports high-quality mechanical recycling for the production of PCR resins that meet customers’ expectations, while also maximizing the reuse of process water.

“As a materials science company, an important part of our sustainability strategy is to design products and technologies that enable our customers and consumers to save water and other resources,” said Juan Pablo Watty, Dow global segment leader, Mechanical Recycling. “By improving the mechanical recycling process, this technology helps support a circular economy and advance recycling rates.”

Maximizing water circularity

Washing is a crucial step in the plastic recycling process since it removes some of the impurities that can degrade a batch of recycled plastic. The impurities targeted in this step commonly include things such as product labels and adhesives, as well as dirt and food residue.

EVOWASH™ is a range of biodegradable, industrial-grade detergents and antifoams designed to maximize adhesive removal, improve the optical quality of plastic resins, and reduce foam generation in the mechanical recycling of PET, HDPE, LDPE and PP. Because EVOWASH™ detergents are biodegradable and generate low foam, they have no impact to discharge water. In fact, our products have performed successfully in recycling systems with discharge cycles above seven days without impacting compliance with local regulations for process effluents.

Learn more about EVOWASH™

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Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance leadership to achieve profitable growth and help deliver a sustainable future. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 37,800 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $57 billion in 2022. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries.  For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

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