The difference is huge. Compared to other materials, most types of plastic are not degradable at all. The current form of plastic waste treatment (landfilling) causes severe environmental pollution. Alongside the growing demand, the low price and the fact that it is non-degradable, plastic has become one of the most difficult environmental problems in the world.
Israel produces about one million tons of plastic waste annually.
With energy recovery facility, REM alone can provide a solution for 20% of this waste, i.e. approximately 200,000 tons of plastic waste every year.
Unfortunately, no. Despite the high awareness among the Israeli public that these recycling containers brought about, the plastic collected from these containers does not undergo any recycling process. In fact, the last facility for recycling plastic waste in Israel was shut down.
On a large scale, the pyrolysis of waste is not implemented in the world due to the need for a consistent, valuable, external source of energy, while large scale oil shale pyrolysis is successfully implemented. Oil shale ash is used in the process as a stream of heat-carrying solids and thus will allow the process to take place without the need for an external energy source, and making it possible to implement a large-scale energy recovery process from plastic waste. That’s why the oil shale is necessary for the process.
One of the main reasons that led REM to build the plant in Mishor Rotem is that the area is far from any population centers. This way, we will be able to preserve the daily routine of Israel’s citizens and in the same breath contribute to it. In addition, shale mining will be carried out via an open-pit method, as in any normal quarry, and without the use of hydraulic fracking, underground heating or production wells, which are all methods that may be harmful for the environment.
Oil shale layers are overburden waste in phosphate mining. The mined oil shales are left near the mine and are currently not used.
The answer to this is quite simple. Plastic is produced from gas and oil. In the pyrolysis process, we return the plastic to the source from which it was created and thus “reverse engineer” it. This way, plastic will return to play a role in the economy instead of becoming a serious environmental hazard.
Unfortunately, today there are places in Israel where plastic waste is still burned. The plastic does indeed disappear, but the burning of plastic waste causes serious pollution in the form of toxic and carcinogenic gases emitted into the atmosphere. Pyrolysis is a process of decomposing an organic matter, which is heated to a high temperature without oxygen and thus no combustion occurs, instead generating energy (as oil and electricity).