RITTEC Umwelttechnik nominated for Next Economy Award

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6. Next Economy Award for green start-up

Lüneburg-based environmental technology start-up RITTEC Umwelttechnik is one of the nine finalists in the 2021 Next Economy Award (NEA). The NEA is a prestigious award for green start-up businesses forming part of the German Sustainability Awards – being nominated from a pool of 140 applicants is in itself a great success for the Lüneburg-based start-up. RITTEC scored especially highly with its revolPET® technology development for solving the global problems surrounding PET packaging, and is delighted to have reached the final. The company will take part in the virtual pitch for the Next Economy Award in early November.

The challenge of plastic waste

Eliminating plastic waste is a global challenge – in more ways than one: On the one hand, plastic packaging volumes have doubled in two decades1. On the other, the quality of the plastic needs to be maintained when recycling.

Besonders wichtig ist dies für die Nahrungsmittelbranche, um Abfälle zukünftig zu vermeiden. For the time being, the recycling of coloured and opaque bottles and packaging, as well as multi-layer film such as that used in millions of packs for cheese, cooked meats or pet food, remains an issue. That is what drives the dedicated RITTEC team working in Lüneburg and Braunschweig. In co-operation with the Institute of Chemical and Thermal Process Engineering (ICTV) at the Technical University of Braunschweig, the team is using the patented revolPET® technology to develop processes to fully recycle plastic packaging and make the constituent materials reusable. A genuine closed loop, in other words.

„Wir freuen uns riesig über die Nominierung. Our goal is for our technology to help solve the global challenge around plastic packaging,” says RITTEC founder and recycling expert Carsten Eichert. Within Germany’s ‘Dual System’ alone, around 200,000 tonnes of PET packaging2 annually cannot be recycled and ends up being incinerated. The estimated figure for Europe as a whole is at least 1.4 million tonnes.

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