Wholly-owned BASF subsidiary trinamiX GmbH, a provider of mobile spectroscopy solutions and chemicals company BASF have teamed up with two other businesses to raise awareness about the value of recycling used materials into new products.
Together with Net Your Problem, a company that works with fishing communities, recyclers and sustainable brands to recycle end‐of‐life fishing gear, and Grundéns, a leading manufacturer of fishing apparel and footwear, the companies organised events in the Puget Sound area around Seattle on 9-10 May demonstrating the potential for circularity of plastics in harbours.
A key part of the event took place at the three participating ports of Bellingham, Seattle, and Port Townsend; here, fisherman could hand in their old fishing and rain gear to be recycled.
Volunteers from different companies collected, identified, and sorted the incoming materials, using a new tech solution developed by trinamiX to identify the different material types in a matter of seconds. This enable the items to be sorted into pure material streams prior to being recycled.
“Sorting is at the crux of a functioning recycling system, and the trinamiX solution allows us to do this on the spot, increasing the purity of the products we provide to recyclers and helping educate fishermen about what is recyclable,” explained Nicole Baker, founder of Net Your Problem. Use was made of local resources to minimise the carbon emissions associated with the event, thus enhancing and safeguarding the sustainability of the project itself.
Not only were many of the participants local volunteers including students from Western Washington University, but after collection, the materials were compressed onsite with balers provided by machinery manufacturers Bramidan Group and Blankenship Equipment. Baling reduces the amount of space materials take up in trucks, resulting in more efficient transport to the nearby recycling facilities.
The multiple material streams generated from the collected fishing gear and apparel will be processed by different companies. The nets provide new raw material for Grundéns to create new products such as jackets, boots, and pants. BASF’s Performance Materials business is also looking at applications for the recyclate derived from these products.
“For trinamiX and BASF, the event shows that joint commitment along the value chain and innovative approaches turn recycling challenges into business opportunities,” concluded Brian Schmatz, Business Development Manager at trinamiX GmbH.