Green Mantra and plastics recycling

A newly-established company, GreenMantra Recycling Technologies, has targeted plastics recycling, a major, long-standing challenge to community recycling programs. In Ontario alone, some 235,000 tons of plastic waste are generated annually, of which only 58,000 tons are recovered, noted Brandon Moffat, GreenMantra’s vice-president of development.

Incorporated in Canada in January 2010, the company’s technology is the result of seven years of research in India by founder and CEO Pushkar Kumar, a metallurgical engineer. The proprietary, patent-pending process derives a variety of industrial-grade waxes, greases and lubricating oils from high- and low-density polyethylene and other plastics. Its pilot-scale reactor converts close to 100% of the carbon input and generates no greenhouse gas emissions. The end products are used in manufacturing applications such as automotive waxes, packaging, emulsions, adhesives, candles and cosmetics.

In less than two years of operation, GreenMantra has sold over 300 kilograms of wax-based products, and is continuing research to expand the range of plastics it can recycle and to optimize the reactor size to achieve the highest level of cost-effectiveness for the process, Moffat noted.

GreenMantra was recently recognized by the Canadian Innovation Exchange as one of Canada’s hottest companies in the clean technology sector.

More information is available on GreenMantra’s Web site, www.greenmantra.ca.

Using GreenMantra as a case study, FRED’s Fred Hausmann and Stewardship Ontario’s Lyle Clarke offered observations regarding how this emerging company would fit into their respective programs. They were  panelists at the last Growing Your Business seminar “Turning Research into Dollars” hosted by the Altitude Accelerator and OCETA.

In evaluating GreenMantra’s eligibility for funding and tax credits (particularly through the SR&ED program), Hausmann said he would be focusing on the split between the technical work done in Canada and that done in India. He also noted that the company would be best advised to claim source credits monthly, rather than annually, to reflect funding for work done at the time of completion. GreenMantra would likely qualify for a number of other government support programs, both federal and provincial, such as forgivable loans, Ontario’s Innovation and Development Fund, or the federal Sustainable Technology Development Canada program.

Clarke saw GreenMantra’s service as an excellent fit with Stewardship Ontario’s mandate, as it plays into one of the most difficult-to-recycle materials, he noted. A great deal of innovation in turning recyclables in to valuable commodities is coming out of Southeast Asia, with much of the innovation addressing the recycling of plastic film. More work, however, is needed in the area of plastic composites, he said.

The “Turning Your Research into Dollars” seminar was presented by the R I C (Research, Innovation, Commercialization) Centre, in partnership with OCETA, the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement. More information is available on the R I C or OCETA Web sites, www.riccentre.com, www.oceta.on.ca.

Join us for Business Valuation – Busting the Myths: How do Investors Value Your Business at the  next Growing Your Business breakfast event series 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., Thursday April 14th at the University of Toronto Mississauga?s Faculty Club.

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