Byewaste and OurkilO start pilot to recycle consumer household PET1-Plastic in Rotterdam North

The collaboration between OurkilO and Byewaste is part of a Rotterdam pilot that is supported by CityLab010. In this pilot, OurkilO explores how we can recycle local waste streams of different plastic types into high-quality new products within our microfactory.

We have already explored the possibilities of festival cups made of PLA and PET, and another project has taken place with industrial waste streams from the horticulture. This is the third pilot, to test to possibilities of recycling consumer household plastic. To lower the barriers of recycling, we teamed up with Byewaste, to offer an easy collection solution for everyone that wants to help recycle plastic (and other materials).

In this current collaboration, we are going to work with waste streams that can be found inside peoples’ houses – namely plastic packaging and bottles. OurkilO will try to make new products from the collected plastic that will find their way back into the neighbourhood as a donation to schools or local initiatives.

About Byewaste

Byewaste is a sustainable start-up that is constantly looking for new ways to contribute to a world without waste. The service enables its users to effortlessly get rid of their unwanted items by picking them up from their homes for free. They then make sure that each item is reused or recycled in the right way. Hereby, they help their users give back to their neighbours and the planet. An appointment can be made through the Byewaste app, which is available for iOS and Android.

How does the Byewaste app work?

How the pilot works

In this pilot, we ask the citizens to save the plastic trays of e.g. fruit and vegetable packaging. It is highly important that the plastic bears the PET1-logo and that it is cleaned before the collection date. There should also be no stickers or glue residue on it. Otherwise, the plastic unfortunately cannot be processed.

In order to offer PET1-plastic for the free Byewaste collection service, residents of Rotterdam North can place a pick-up request in the app. After entering their home address, they immediately get to see the available collection dates. An appointment is then made within a few clicks.

The impact

Plastic is incredibly versatile and can last a very long time. However, we often throw it away after short use. Because there are so many types of plastic, it is difficult to properly process plastic waste. For this reason, the vast majority of our plastic is incinerated – or ends up in nature. This causes all sorts of (sustainability) problems.

Burning plastic costs a lot of energy and causes a lot of CO2 emissions. Plastic that ends up in nature takes decades to break down and causes the spread of small particles (microplastics) that are harmful for humans, animals and nature. In short, we need to find ways to use plastic for a long time and to process it better once it is thrown away. This is possible through high-quality mechanical recycling. This means that we wash, chop, dry and heat the material to eventually make new products from the end product.

In this way, we save more than 80% CO2 emissions, energy and water compared to incineration. It also ensures that less new plastic needs to be produced. A win win! However, the process is not always easy. It depends on how the plastic was produced, how it was used and with what it was contaminated whether the material can be reused. That is why OurkilO is constantly conducting experiments to further improve the recycling process.

This initiative is made possible by Citylab010.
Citylab 010