Menlo Park, California — Post-consumer polyethylene waste is being used by Novoloop to make a thermoplastic polyurethane. The company claims it is the world’s first example of a TPU made in this way with comparable properties to virgin material.
Its XIRC materials are customizable polyester TPU elastomers that incorporate up to 50 percent post-consumer PE. They remain flexible at low temperatures, the company said, and have high elasticity, abrasion resistance, and good grip in both dry and wet conditions. This makes them suitable for footwear, sporting goods and automotive applications.
Much of its waste PE feedstock comes from household waste from the city of San Jose, and its waste processor GreenWaste Recovery. It also sources PE from a post-consumer plastic processor in southern California.
It is also working with a toll manufacturer to scale up production. A third-party lifecycle analysis of the manufacturing process claims its carbon emissions are 45 percent lower than a conventional TPU production process.
"Novoloop’s mission is to create sustainable materials for a changing planet,’ said Novoloop co-founder and CEO Miranda Wang. "We are on a path to reinvent how performance materials are manufactured in a world under threat by plastic pollution, and we are on path to mitigate up to 685 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually."