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Three companies are joining to launch a new technology for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste. The venture links Unilever, a large user of PET packaging; Indorama, the world’s largest producer of PET resin; and Ioniqa, the developer of a PET recycling technology based on ionic liquids. Ioniqa, a spin-off from Eindhoven University of Technology and the Dutch Polymer Institute, applies ionic liquids in a magnetic field to separate colors and other additives from PET, leaving a polymer similar to the virgin one made from petroleum. Unilever says the technology will help it reach a goal of making all of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
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