Wimao: The future of recycling plastic waste

WIMAO
WIMAO

How one Finnish company is setting a new standard with breakthrough patented technology.

The global waste problem is reaching an all-time high; every day, new statistics and studies are revealing the true depth of the global waste problem which is impacting communities across the world. Food and water contamination, crop failures, disease and an increasing amount of pollutants in the air, land and ground are a rampant problem that requires immediate action. One of the most common sources of waste in the environment today is plastics, which are used in almost every aspect of consumer life – from single use plastics such as straws and wrappers, to construction materials and countless products in between.

Global waste at new and dangerous heights

To understand the gravity of the situation, consider that Greenpeace UK estimates that a total of 12.7 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year – that statistic is plastics alone, without including other waste and contaminants; and it doesn’t stop there. Waste is not only a problem in itself but also a cause of greenhouse gas emissions and thus of global warming. In Finland, for example, about 3% of all greenhouse gas emissions are caused by methane produced by rotting waste.

The global waste problem is reaching new and dangerous heights. The growing impact of waste on the environment is now reaching levels that experts are calling the tipping point for the future of the environment. However, the question now remains – what is being done about the global waste problem? What can be done about it? In response to the global waste crisis, many countries are now creating strategies and roadmaps for reducing plastic consumption and ensuring smarter plastic consumption through banning single use plastics and other types of common plastic debris which end up contaminating the oceans. Countries are also looking for solutions that will convert current plastic waste into new materials in order to avoid adding pollutants to the air through incineration or pollutants into the ground via landfills or burial.

These solutions and strategies include advocating for reducing the amount of littering along with massive product consumption; introducing taxes and fines associated with the use of plastic; improving the recovery and recycling of plastic waste; improving how plastic waste is sorted and identified, especially in relation to building construction; improving and strengthening recycling and plastic replacement standards; and improving the focus on plastic replacement solutions on an international scale, all while continuing to research how plastics impact the environment and even our own health.

Wimao Ltd – setting a new standard with breakthrough patented technology

The innovative waste management solutions being sought by countries around the world is exactly where Wimao Ltd comes in. Wimao Ltd is setting a new standard for recycling and waste management; a standard which aims to reduce the amount of discarded waste that often results in pollutants via incineration and other disposal methods which are harmful to the environment.

Ville Immonen, the Managing Director of Wimao Ltd, explains their unique business model:

“WIMAO is flipping the ‘take, make and dispose of’ model on its head and helping EU member states to meet their ambitious targets to recycle up to 75% of waste by 2023. In the past 3 years, we at WIMAO have put our careers in recycling to use by developing REMAT: a patented technology to turn non-recyclable mixed plastic waste streams and many other non-recycled materials into environmentally friendly composite products. Our products have the full consistency and the same physical properties as those made of plastic, wood or glass fibre. Beyond that, the end products we manufacture are recyclable at the end of their life cycle, creating an infinite and environmentally conscious loop.

Our pilot REMAT production plant commenced production in 2018. In our facility, we are taking mixed plastic waste and wood waste that is not wanted by the recycling industry and transforming it into composite products. The total available raw material (waste streams) for our products is calculated in billions of tonnes, giving us a nearly unlimited growth potential.

WIMAO is uniquely positioned to create a new standard operating model for the recycling industry. Our breakthrough is the ability to use mixed and dirty materials, without the need for instance to separate different plastic grades from each other, effectively surmounting the key barrier for recycling. We have the only technology versatile enough to handle the volumes of waste that Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) collect, many of them exactly as they receive it. Our technology is a radical new opportunity to push Europe (and eventually the globe) towards its circular economy.”

Wimao’s unique patented technology allows for multiple waste materials to be recycled and converted into new ecological composite products. These ecological composite products meet the durability and use standards of current products, all while having the added benefit of being recyclable and more environmentally conscious by having each produced product save between one  and eight times its weight in carbon dioxide emissions.

Time to make waste great again

The primary waste materials utilised by Wimao’s technology include waste materials typically considered difficult to recycle even by the most dedicated recycling facilities. These materials would ordinarily be discarded via landfills or incineration rather than being put to any environmentally friendly use; in fact, incineration and other disposal methods frequently used by waste management companies to handle materials that they can’t recycle, contribute to the amount of pollutants and waste in the environment. This negative environmental impact is what Wimao Ltd wants to address with its technology, which can eliminate the need for waste disposal that harms the environment.

In addition to utilising these often discarded waste materials, Wimao is turning the waste management model on its head via its ability to process mixed materials without the need to separate them before the recycling process begins. This allows for a significant reduction in the amount of labour required to recycle the waste materials, which ordinarily would need to be separated before recycling production could begin.

Technology tried, tested and put into use

The pilot REMAT production plant is operating out of South Karelia, Finland and is currently working with the partnership of a local waste management company. The current output of the facility includes multiple composite products, with new products being planned for future production. The continued production of new composite products is designed to meet the increasing demand for environmentally friendly waste solutions; rather than add to the amount of discarded waste in the environment, the composite waste products created by Wimao’s patented technology can be recycled and remade again and again, creating an infinite (and environmentally friendly) loop.

Wimao plans to offer a comprehensive service package which will be available to clientele on a global level. This comprehensive service package will include a scalable production plant built to the specific needs and preferences of the clientele in mind. Wimao anticipates that its primary clientele will be waste management companies who are looking for environmentally friendly solutions to managing waste which would ordinarily not be recycled. Wimao’s service package plans will also include ready sales channels for the final composite products, along with complete customer support and maintenance services. Clientele who are interested in expanding their products or product lines can also hire Wimao to develop new products and materials in the future.

Time to take action

The problem of unabated global waste is a serious one. Experts estimate that the amount of annual global waste will grow by 70% by the year 2050 unless significant, urgent action is taken by companies around the world to reduce their plastic consumption and waste generation, while incorporating waste replacement solutions. To make things worse, 95% of plastic packaging’s material value, or USD 80-120 billion, is annually lost to the economy after its short first use cycle. (The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics & catalysing action, Ellen MacArthur Foundation).

Immonen, on the future of Wimao Ltd commented: “As of now we’re planning on establishing several new production plants in Finland in co-operation with the local waste management companies. The next step is to enter the global markets, where we have already had some preliminary talks with some very interesting companies.”

Wimao Ltd is taking action by introducing innovative technology which creates an ecologically friendly solution to traditional plastic recycling. With the success of their pilot plant, Wimao Ltd plan to expand their operations rapidly in order to fully address the global waste crises. They won’t be keeping their technology to themselves either: they plan on offering their technology to waste management companies around the world who need better solutions to their current amount of discarded, non-recycled waste.

 

Ville Immonen

Managing Director

Wimao Oy

+358 (0)207 928 630

ville.immonen@wimao.fi

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ville-immonen-39bb0724/

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