June 2, 2022 (Singapore and Ludwigshafen, Germany) – trinamiX GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF SE, and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (Alliance) today announced a pilot project to equip project partners in Southeast Asia with technology that helps to improve the sorting and identification of plastic waste in areas where waste management infrastructure is limited.
trinamiX developed the innovative Mobile NIR Spectroscopy Solution, a handheld tool which uses near-infrared light to identify materials. The solution allows users to more accurately sort plastic waste into separate waste streams, which in turn aid them in earning higher prices from plastic waste aggregators and recyclers. Previously, this type of technology was only available in large-scale recycling facilities.
“Waste streams are getting more complex to sort, as various materials can be incorporated into a broad range of different products, such as bottles and other packing types,” says Somchit Nilthanom, Project Manager of Rayong Less-Waste. “trinamiX’s solution is a useful tool to identify different types of plastics used in a variety of applications, enabling improved sorting.”
BASF has sponsored the use of four trinamiX units as part of the pilot. One is already being tested during educational workshops under the Rayong Less-Waste programme in Thailand, which is supported by the Alliance. The remaining units will be tested in India and elsewhere in the region.
Results from the pilot and feedback from users will be used by the trinamiX team to develop a more customized solution to suit local conditions.
“Improving collection and sorting are key components towards developing a circular economy for plastic waste. This includes understanding the type of plastic waste being collected to optimize recycling,” says Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance. “This solution by trinamiX has the potential to improve access to sorting technology in developing regions. We are honoured to be working with trinamiX and BASF to help this innovation scale up.”
“We see a huge potential in the miniaturization of NIR spectroscopy and in making a powerful technology accessible to people everywhere. By leveraging our novel solution for onsite plastic sorting, we create an impact that pays off for users and the environment alike,” says Dr Ingmar Bruder, Founder and CEO of trinamiX. “With the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, we have found the ideal partner who will put our solution into the hands of those who can truly make a difference.”
“Plastic is the most resource-efficient solution in many applications thanks to its low weight, flexibility, stability, durability and variety of properties. However, the proper disposal and recycling of plastics is a global challenge. At BASF we are doing our part by working on innovative solutions to make sure more plastic will find another life. But we cannot do it on our own, which is why we co-founded The Alliance to End Plastic Waste,” says Carola Richter, President of BASF Asia Pacific and Sponsor of the project.