From fatty plastic to regrind
2 May 2017
2 May 2017
'TUSTI is a textbook example of how the market and knowledge come together', laughs Eline Stiphout while hanging her safety vest over the back of a chair. Eline: "Jan Kolijn was a chemist at the Polymer Technology Groep Eindhoven (PTG/e) and I'm the owner of Stiphout Plastics, a recycling company in Montfort. We founded TUSTI together last year, after PTG/e had come up with a new, patented cleaning process that makes it possible to re-use plastic frying-fat packaging. I now have a big washing unit at my recycling company. We are finally ready to get started: cleaning and recycling 2 million kilos of fatty, dirty plastic every year!"
Little girls have dreams. They want to be school teachers or doctors. Eline Stiphout wanted a factory. With all the trappings. Her dream came true after she finished her degree in International Business at Tilburg University. Eline: "Montfort now has the Netherlands' greenest recycling factory, where we grind non-fatty plastic into regrind in the form of chips. We then sell these chips to companies that turn them into buckets, plastic trays or flower pots."
That could be done differently
Eline’s search for plastic brought her into contact with companies that collected used frying fat from locations throughout the Netherlands to turn it into biodiesel. To extract the fat from the cans, they shred the packaging, leaving the dirty, fatty plastic behind. "It might be dirty, but it's also high-quality plastic that no-one wants. It's just burned. What a waste", Eline comments.
Question and answer
Jan: "PTG/e is a knowledge institute that specialises in plastic. Two years ago, Stiphout Plastics asked us whether it was possible to use a sustainable approach to clean cans, so that the clean plastic could then be ground and re-used. We were happy to accept the challenge and set up a laboratory at the Catalyst business center. To cut a long story short: after extensive reading, testing and trial and error, we came up with a solution: a liquid selected by us and also applied by us in a certain way."
Eline: "I believed that PTG/e had the knowledge needed and I'm convinced that the combination of a high-tech approach and recycling really can make the difference. That was the first step and now it's time for the next one. If it works, we’ll invest the money we make in new research designed to further expand our knowledge of fat, cleaning, plastic and re-use."
Jan is confident about TUSTI's future: "We have new ideas now too. And no, I can't tell you anything about them at the moment ..."
The Catalyst building
De Lismortel 31
5600 AB Eindhoven