Singapore, December 13, 2022—The Alliance to End Plastic Waste has awarded Nextek, an environmental consultancy based in London, its Alliance Prize in Circular Solutions for Flexibles.
“Nextek Ltd is thrilled and honoured to be selected as the winning technology for the Alliance Prize. The whole COtooCLEAN team is celebrating the opportunity to accelerate the technology into commercial applications,” said Professor Edward Kosior, CEO and Founder of Nextek. “We appreciate there is a significant challenge ahead for the recycling of plastic films and believe that COtooCLEAN will be able to make a major contribution by decontaminating post-consumer films back to food-grade quality, thereby creating a circular destination back to food applications.”
Nextek’s COtooCLEAN, a proprietary waterless cleaning process for polyolefin films, uses low-pressure super-critical CO2 (scCO2) to deal with contamination—one of the biggest challenges in recycling flexible films found in household waste—by removing oils, fats and printing inks from the film. The innovation provides a solution to enable better processing and recycling of one of the largest plastic waste streams.
Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, said: “There is significant demand for recycled material, but the market is currently limited by the supply of clean, well-sorted feedstock due to gaps in collection and processing. The Alliance is motivated to scale innovations like Nextek’s to address these challenges and fulfil our mission to help end plastic waste in the environment.
The Alliance Prize was launched in April 2022 and attracted more than 600 global registrations resulting in 60 complete submissions. The Prize’s objective is to help scale and ultimately commercialise technological innovation by connecting it with capital and technical expertise.
The complete submissions were reviewed and evaluated against impact, scalability, feasibility and innovation criteria. Five finalists were selected from the 60 to pitch their ideas in-person to a seven-person selection committee made up of industry experts and Alliance staff. This took place on 29 November in New York.
The $3 million prize will be disbursed to the winner based on milestones during a two-year period. In addition, the Alliance will make the database of submissions public, with the aim of connecting these solution providers with companies in the plastic value chain and investors.
Steve Sikra, chair of the selection committee, said: “The Alliance Prize winner and finalists represent proven solutions with strong potential to scale and make the circular economy for flexible plastic a reality. On behalf of our expert panel, I would like to congratulate the COtooCLEAN team and express our deep appreciation to all Alliance Prize contestants for their ideas and accomplishments.”