A Breakthrough Closed-Loop Recycling Technology to Create New Materials Out of Waste Plastic
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is the world's forth largest plastic polymer by production, with diverse applications such as carpets, textiles, containers, and packaging. Currently, these materials are impossible to recycle because they are complex mixtures of different plastics, additives, dyes, and finishes, so they are burned for energy or disposed of directly in landfills. Ambercycle is a company that has developed a patented chemical technology to extract PET plastic from PET-containing materials, producing a virgin-grade PET pellet that can be used in existing manufacturing processes to make new materials.
Ambercycle has partnered with clothing manufacturer H&M and created the first textile produced entirely from old clothing. PET-based polyester has far surpassed cotton as the material most commonly used in clothing, so there is the potential to transform millions of tons of waste apparel to raw material for textile production. UP invested in Ambercycle so that they could conduct the R&D needed to complete their first joint development agreement and sale.
Ambercycle has since completed subsequent funding rounds, expanded its brand partnerships, and developed "cycora" - the first-of-its-kind materials produced in an entirely closed loop process.