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Plastic to Oil

Reducing plastic pollution by turning it back into oil creating a circular economy

Photo of Bonnie Monteleone
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By turning plastics back into oil, we provide a solution that 1. helps minimize use of our resources that 2. benefits the economy and 3. benefits the health of marine life and coastlines. According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, plastic consumption is expected to reach over 600 million tons by 2050. Even if we stop producing it today, there is roughly 9.1 billion tons of plastic on this planet somewhere, enough to keep us in business for the next 20 years.  The products we produce from plastics have a myriad of applications, from replacing bunker fuel (the dirtiest fuel on the market) at a competitive price, to making paraffin and lubricants, to being used in asphalt.  The system is anaerobic, so no harmful emissions are released and burns clean.

Idea Title

Liquifying plastic waste into a marketable commodity

Company / Organization Name

Plastic Ocean Project, Inc in collaboration with PK Clean Technologies, Inc.

Website and

Where are you / your team located?

Plastic Ocean Project, Inc is in Wilmington, NC and PK Clean is in Salt Lake City

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

We found a place in our economy for low value, difficult to recycle plastics by depolymerizing the plastics back into oil that can either be used for fuel, paraffin, or in asphalt

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Through the joint efforts of Plastic Ocean Project's education and outreach that focuses on getting people to stop using plastics while at the same time eliminating plastics that already exist working with PK Clean technology

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

PK Clean Technology is operating in Salt Lake City, Plastic Ocean Project has been converting plastics to oil on a small scale in Wilmington, NC. Our collaboration is to build portable units that can be marketed to coastal and island communities.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Marketing the portable units that can be scaled up to handling 10 tons of plastic waste a day makes the technology affordable for any size community. Plastic Ocean Project will fundraise for communities like Haiti and other developing nations that are in desperate need for help with waste management and serves as a preventative measure for plastics entering the ocean.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Operating Concept / Startup: You have fulfilled the stages of testing, undertaken a full scale roll-out, and are currently operating this concept/idea as a business.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

Our goal is to take this already well developed technology not only to communities that have the funding to invest, but to also raise capital for under development, impoverished regions of the world that have little means for waste management. We will create jobs while eliminating one of the major environmental stressors - plastic pollution

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

We built bridges between inventors and university students to drastically reduce plastic marine debris by creating portable off the grid solar energy and a portable plastics to fuel device to market to local communities and beyond to island nations who have limited landfill space and use copious amounts of single use plastics

Tell us about your work experience

Through the university of NC Wilmington, Plastic Ocean Project, and PK Clean, we have developed an understanding of the importance of turning plastics into fuel.


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