The Cost of Our Plastic Addiction

Though the amount of plastic that has been recycled each year has increased since 1990, the situation remains fairly dire. Of the 33.6 million tons of plastic discarded annually, only 6.7% is recycled. At the landfill, we see the flipside of plastic’s convenient qualities of lightness and durability: it can take the material up to a thousand years to decompose, all the while leaching harmful chemicals into the air, soil, and groundwater.

Agilyx, a Portland-based company, offers a solution to plastic waste. By grounding unsorted plastic back into synthetic crude oil — the very substance used to manufacture plastic in the first place — the company can convert a pollutant into an energy source.

By repurposing discarded plastic, Agilyx and CarbonLite are creating more eco-friendly closed-loop supply chains. Like recycling, these innovative technologies clean up the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and offer a way to reprocess plastics at a low energy cost.


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