Speaker insights from GreenMantra Technologies and Braven Environmental 

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About Chemical Recycling USA

Ahead of the Chemical Recycling USA Virtual Summit we took the opportunity to gather industry insights from our speakers.

In our first combined interview, we caught up with speakers Domenic Di Mondo and Rusty Sloane who will be presenting on their advanced recycling technologies. 

We spoke to them about the impact Covid-19 has had on the industry, the future of recycling and sustainability, and what they will be speaking about at the Chemical Recycling USA Virtual Summit.  

March 2-4, 2021 

Rusty Sloane
Director of Special Operations
Braven Environmental

Please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?

Domenic: I am the Vice President of Technology and Business Development at GreenMantra. I was part of the company’s original founding team. It has been an incredible journey to see this company emerge from a small cleantech incubator laboratory to a full-scale manufacturing operation which runs 24/7/365. In my current role, I lead a team of world-class scientists and engineers. Together, we drive innovation and growth within our commercial operations, and develop new products, applications, and technologies.

Rusty: My current role is primarily focused between two initiatives; development and logistics. In the former, I work with securing sustainable sources of plastic while in the latter I work on ensuring we are setting up the logistical network in the most efficient manner.

What impact has COVID-19 had on the industry and its development?

Domenic: As an emerging company that historically relied on face-to-face interactions to promote our products, GreenMantra had to pivot quickly in 2020 to find new ways to interface with potential customers and continue to grow awareness about our technology and solutions. Despite these challenges, our business has continued to thrive and grow. We believe this is a testament to the level of desire and momentum to find sustainable solutions - despite a global pandemic and uncertainty around every corner, companies are still investing in reformulation work to develop more sustainable products, and GreenMantra is proud to support them in these efforts.

Rusty: The single largest impact has been the inability to bring in members of the scientific community to demonstrate our technology. Research & Development have been minimally impacted. The largest impact to the industry has yet to be seen as the sheer volume of contaminated plastic used in the medical field has yet to be quantified.

What role do you think advanced recycling can play in the future of North American recycling and sustainability?

Domenic: Advanced recycling has an exciting future, not just within North America but on a global scale. In the coming years, I believe we will see advanced recycling become more widely understood and accepted by producers, governments, and consumers as a part of the solution to achieving a zero plastic-waste society. As a complement to mechanical recycling, advanced recycling will be a critical component of our movement from a linear to a circular economy.

Rusty: Advanced recycling will most certainly have a prominent, and growing role, as all industries pursue sustainability. Advanced recycling should not be considered the sole solution, but rather a compliment to other initiatives focused on diverting plastic from going into the environment. 

What are the trends shaping the future of chemical or advanced recycling?

Domenic: I would say that one of the most important trends which is driving the advanced recycling movement is the rapid awareness that is happening both in the chemical sector but also in the mainstream. This is driving a huge amount of investment and excitement in these technologies and will spur a larger impact as these companies begin to validate their technologies and scale. 

Rusty: One trend, that should concern all companies that deal in any form of plastic, is the growing notion that a legislative solution should take precedence over a scientific solution. Lack of proper education within powerful lobbying groups are having a negative impact on the direction of advanced recycling. To be fair, there has been a lot of vacant promises made within the industry that has inspired this mistrust. Plastic Tracking systems will most certainly play a growing role as well.

You will be speaking at the Chemical Recycling USA 2021 conference, could you share a little of what you will be talking about and what you are looking forward to.

Domenic: First, I want to thank the AMI for putting together this conference. Events like this are important to help raise awareness about chemical recycling. I am honored to be presenting alongside such a great line-up of speakers. GreenMantra was the first company to fully commercialize an advanced recycling technology. Our process partially depolymerizes waste plastic into specialty polymers that create value as processing aids or performance enhancers in various end applications. I am excited to have an opportunity to share our story and speak about our technology, products, and applications.

Rusty: One of the main topics I would like to discuss is “what we are and what we are not”. How does our pyrolysis differ from other advanced recycling companies? I am looking forward to hearing from sceptics and supporters of advanced recycling. Scepticism should be embraced as it tends to raise questions that could forge a different way of thinking.

Chemical, or advanced, recycling has recently received increasing levels of interest to overcome the limitations of traditional plastics recycling. The opportunity to break down a wide range of plastic waste into their chemical components and reform them into new plastics has led to innovative development and discussion for the industry.

This virtual summit specific to the USA market is held over three days, from 11:30 EST, and brings together key players and industry experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the development of these emerging technologies and their integration into the supply chain. It is an essential meeting place for anyone across the plastics industry looking to learn more about this rapidly developing sector.

The event sessions are complemented by access to a virtual booth area where you can explore and interact with suppliers - all from the safety of your own home or office.

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Domenic Di Mondo  
Vice President of Technology
GreenMantra Technologies