Profitable PET Recycling with Eco-Friendly Chemicals

The current recycling system destroys tons of composite PET plastic every year. DePoly turns the low valued post-consumer PET waste into its high valued original chemical components that can be remade into virgin plastic. This solution turns waste into revenue while contributing to a cleaner environment.

What inspired you to start your company?

During our Ph.Ds, there was a lot of news that was coming out about how recycling had failed, exactly how much was getting sent overseas, how much wasn’t being recycled and instead landfilled/incinerated, and that because of all of this we now had plastic patches in the ocean the size of US states, animals were dying from eating plastic, and even humans were consuming microplastics. A lot of companies have stepped forward to say they planned to help solve this problem, but it felt like there was little action, so we decided to tackle the problem ourselves.

Who would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why?

For myself, it would be the professors that I worked with over the course of my bachelors (Prof. Adam McCubbin), masters (Prof. Cathleen Crudden) and Ph.D (Prof. Berend Smit). They helped me find my love for chemistry, and showed me how to see the bigger picture. Once I got deeper into the business side of the start up, the biggest influences would be from the coaches that have helped us from the very start. Particularly Simon Johnson, Daniel Brandenburger, and Eric Plan.

What are the current challenges in the cleantech industry and how do you see it changing in the next 5 years?

I think it depends on the industry, but the biggest challenge I think will be the markets/industry changing their ways due to new disruptive technologies. Adopting these new ideas in cleantech will eventually happen, we can see that everyone wants to head towards sustainability, it will just take some time to see the changes on a large scale.

What are you most proud of achieving with DePoly?

I’m proud of the technology, and our team! We’ve come so far in a short amount of time, and I’m really excited for the next few years.

What are your plans for the future, and where do you see DePoly in another 3-4 years?

Plans are for the development of our commercial pilot plant, and then to expand globally! So first will be the commercial plant, and then a year after hopefully we’ve expanded into a new market.

Was there any piece of advice you received during your involvement with the W.A. de Vigier Foundation that stuck with you? Or a certain meaningful anecdote that you could share about this time?

No advice in particular, but we met some people who gave us a perspective from the outside looking in that we found invaluable: How to look at the market differently, how to approach it from a new way, and potential avenues for future product sales.

– Thank you, Sam!