“Neste is one of the most sustainable companies in the world,” DeBenedictis added. “They’re not only supporting deployment of our technology across industry, but we have a joint development agreement as well, so we can leverage Neste’s expertise.”

Alterra’s ultimate goal is to break substantial new ground in tackling the problem of plastic waste around the world. “To me, it’s about going back to the future of recycling,” Schmuck said. “My compliments to existing technologies, but it’s crucial for us to move away from single-use plastic and virgin oil. We’ve created a new solution and an opportunity. What we’re doing is diverting valuable used plastics from being landfilled and reducing our need for natural resources in the remanufacturing of new plastic products–it’s a very efficient use of existing industrial capabilities to replace virgin oil.”

“Look at your own trash can at home,” DeBenedictis said. “When you finish your yogurt, or your salad, or your butter, the container goes in the trash can. But all of that has value. Plastic is made to be reused. We want to help unlock ways to reuse all of our plastics. But we all have to do our part. My family of five has been doing a recycling experiment for six months, and we’ve been able to reduce our weekly curbside trash down to one little bag. What if we could get every household in the U.S. to do something similar? This would be a game change in accelerating the shift to a truly circular economy.”

“If you look at the entire recycling value chain,” said Schmuck, “this kind of advanced recycling can make an enormous difference.”