Technology to transform plastic recycling in Alberta

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$ 2 million to enhance plastic recycling with BASF and an ecosystem of partners

CALGARY, Alberta, June 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – A recent report highlighted that Canada disposed of nearly 4.7 million tonnes of plastic waste. Only nine per cent was recycled, with the other 91 per cent of plastic ending up in landfills or lost in the environment. A project spearheaded by BASF called the reciChain ™ program (reciChain) is coming to Alberta to tackle the challenges of plastic waste, with support from Alberta Innovates.

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reciChain is a technology-enabled ecosystem that brings together all the plastic value chain players to enable the circularity, tracking, and sorting of recycled plastic. The program aims to incentivize the reuse of plastics by producers while supporting Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs; increasing supply chain efficiencies, and consumer brand loyalty.

BASF, and a host of partners, including Cascades, Layfield, London Drugs, NOVA Chemicals, Orion Plastics, [Re]Waste]and Waste & Recycling Services from the cities of Calgary and Edmonton will receive $ 2 million from the Bioenergy – Circular Economy program, through Alberta Innovates ’Clean Resources division. The total budget for the reciChain program in Alberta, including investment from all the participants, is estimated at $ 10 million. The project is intended to develop a functional platform and reach the semi-commercial phase by January 2024.

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The intent of the reciChain program will support Alberta in achieving impacts such as:

  • Incentivizing the use of recycled materials and designing for recyclability,
  • Improving the identification and tracking of plastic types for auditability,
  • Improving the sorting of plastics by material type,
  • Building circularity to involve the entire value chain.

“Eliminating unnecessary plastic waste and building a plastic circular economy are key goals for our government, and projects like this one will help get us there. Bringing together partners across a number of industries and equipping them with cutting-edge technology will help drive much-needed solutions to global plastic waste issues, and we’re excited to see this BASF spearheading this project here in Alberta. ”

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Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity

“Alberta Innovates support in the reciChain project is an important milestone as the project expands to Alberta. With this support, we look forward to positioning the Alberta ecosystem as a leader in plastics circularity with advancing and digital technologies. ”

Apala Mukherjee, President, BASF Canada

“Creating a cleaner world starts at the local level, in communities all around the country and right here in Alberta. Innovative programs like reciChain are creating meaningful changes in plastic recycling. Alberta Innovates is pleased to support this partnership and looks forward to the results that flow from this program. ”

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

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BACKGROUND

reciChain’s underlining technology components
To extend the lifecycle of plastics, reciChain 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 incentive participation and offset costs

Once reciChain is validated in Alberta’s plastics value chain, BASF’s intent is to continue expanding reciChain to tackle the plastic waste challenge, both at national and global levels.

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Learn more about the reciChain program in Alberta.

Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We ignore the power of innovation through our work with researchers, industry, and entrepreneurs to move Alberta to a lower-carbon future, promote the responsible use of land and water, and contribute to the improved health and well-being of Albertans. Alberta Innovates provides technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships, and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do – bringing together bright minds and great ideas.

Learn how Alberta Innovates at albertainnovates.ca

reciChain is a trademark of BASF, used with permission by BASF Canada Inc. (c) 2022 BASF Canada Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners and use of any such trademark does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by its owner.

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