Arizona State University, the city of Phoenix, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona and Hustle PHX have joined forces to open what it says is the "first of its kind," the Circular Plastics Microfactory.
The site in Phoenix officially opened Feb. 6 and backers say it promises a sustainable business model for the environment, society and workers.
The microfactory concentrates the collection of waste plastic, processing and remanufacturing processes all under one roof.
“It’s the first plastics microfactory of its kind,” said Alicia Marseille, senior director of ASU’s Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service in the Global Futures Laboratory. “These components — the processing, the collections, the remanufacturing — exist, but they’re spread out all over the world. This is the first attempt to do the entire process in one location to actualize a regional circular economy.”
Located at the Goodwill Retail Operations Center in Phoenix, the facility will take sorted plastic waste from Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, process it into pellets, and use the pellets to create new products for sale. The facility is currently able to process high density polyethylene and polypropylene and has the capability to expand to process PET and low density PE.
It is expected to have an annual capacity of 550 tons and will employ around 10 people.