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  • Shouldn’t we eliminate plastics wherever possible, instead of trying to recycle or remanufacture plastic already in the supply chain?
    YES! We fully subscribe to the Sustainable Waste Management Hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (US EPA), and support policies and organizations reducing our over-dependence on plastics. But the plastic waste problem is huge and getting worse every day. Even if we were to immediately cease plastic production globally (and no one expects that day to come anytime soon), there are still 8.3 billion tons (National Geographic) of plastic that has already been produced, reached the end of its useful life, and not been responsibly addressed. “Current U.S. reprocessing capability is so low that only PET and HDPE are functionally recyclable” (Greenpeace) and less than 30% of PET and HDPE are actually recycled (US EPA). Combining the PET and HDPE plastics that aren’t recycled, with the vast majority (EPA) of plastic categories that can’t be practically recycled, the absence of practical solutions to address plastic waste has created an environmental crisis. “We can’t recycle our way out of the plastic pollution crisis,” (Greenpeace). “There are only 4 ways to handle plastic at the end of its life. Plastic waste can be recycled, destroyed or converted to fuel or energy through pyrolysis, disposed of in managed waste systems or discarded where it ends up in the natural environment, “ – The Ocean Conservancy Our plastics crisis is a big, complicated puzzle, requiring a comprehensive response. While Reduction is the first R toward solving the puzzle, Clean Seas is providing solutions to deal with existing plastic waste that can not be recycled, transforming waste into valuable commodities and preventing this waste from being discarded into waterways, oceans, landfills or the environment.
  • Wait, is pyrolysis recycling? Or Not?
    Good question! Recycling /ri:’saɪklɪŋ/ noun: “The action or process of converting waste into reusable material,” (Oxford Languages) . “Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products,” (US EPA). You may also hear terms like “chemical recycling,” or “advanced recycling” applied to pyrolysis, especially for applications that produce plastic resin instead of fuel (paradoxically creating more plastic, but more like “recycling!”) Some simply say plastics recycling is a lie. Others say pyrolysis represents Recovery rather than Recycling. Semantics aside, we focus on the net positive impact of converting plastics to valuable products, offsetting other, harmful ways of producing those same products.
  • Is pyrolysis the same as incineration?
    No. Incineration is destruction by combustion; combustion requires oxygen, and creates undesirable byproducts. Pyrolysis involves heating feedstock (in this case waste plastics) within a sealed, air tight chamber to the point of breaking them down (“cracking”) into chemical components (in this case, ultra-low sulfur diesel, carbon black char, and syngas/hydrogen.)
  • Does pyrolysis use more energy than it’s worth?
    No. In fact, Clean-Seas’ pyrolysis can work completely independent from the electrical grid; all the energy we need is generated on-site from the syngas created during pyrolysis. Overall, pyrolysis is more than twice as efficient as Waste-To-Energy incineration, and incalculably more efficient than landfilling or otherwise discarding plastics. Through Research and Development investments and academic partnerships including Arizona State University's Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service, and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Clean-Seas is constantly working to reduce energy consumption of its process (where possible with wind/solar, leveraging our our sister company WindStream Technologies), as well as other promising technologies as they achieve commercial viability.
  • Does Clean-Seas pyrolysis emit hazardous heavy metals like lead and mercury, or highly toxic pollutants like dioxins and PFAS? What about your products?
    No. Pyrolysis creates no emissions.
  • What about emissions from the products you manufacture?
    The syngas we produce is consumed onsite to heat the pyrolysis system. Emissions from the syngas are far less than EPA and state compliance standards. The liquid ultra-low sulfur precursors we produce – for plastic circularity, or for biodiesel – offsets fossil-fuel exploration, extraction, processing and refining. Emissions from what is consumed as fuel will be the same or less (generally far less sulfur) as the fuel it is offsetting. The carbon char we produce is virtually inert, and sequesters carbon. Overall, this means Clean Seas yields a significant net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. We pledge full transparency of any and all environmental impacts, and will share all impact data on our website.
  • Aren’t you diverting plastic that would otherwise be recycled?
    No. #1 & #2 waste plastics enjoy a strong recycling market — primarily in textile manufacturing –even after China’s National Sword policy: Clean-Seas will convert plastics that are not readily recyclable (#4-7 plastics). Clean-Seas will actually enhance overall recycling in several ways Saving taxpayers and towns substantial fees they currently pay to dispose of their plastic waste Adding much-needed transparency to where our waste goes Reducing the impact of “wishcycling" contamination; our process can handle all plastics.
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