Technological watch

Canadian GREENMANTRA awarded to develop recycling solution for PPE waste

The Government of Canada has awarded $300,000 CN to GREENMANTRA to develop an efficient and cost-effective system for recycling Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) being disposed of by Canada’s health care sector and the general public.

Disposable PPE such as medical masks, respirators, and surgical gowns are mostly made with petroleum-based, non-biodegradable polymers. The physical form and level of contamination limits the viable outlets for PPE waste streams. GREENMANTRA’s innovative advanced recycling technology upcycles these “hard-to-recycle” PPE streams into high-value specialty polymers and additives.

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC)The award is given under the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program, part of the federal government’s commitment to investing in cutting-edge solutions to the COVID-19 challenges.

GREEMANTRA will use its advanced recycling technology to utilize single-use PPE from Canadian hospitals as a feedstock and will transform these streams of waste PPE into specialty waxes and polymers, which are used as additives in construction materials like asphalt, roofing shingles, drainage pipes, and extruded plastic lumber.

“PPE waste streams are rich in the polyolefins that are ideal feedstocks for GREENMANTRA’s advanced recycling process,” said Donald Wiseman, GREENMANTRA’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are pleased that our technology can address one of the pandemic’s challenges while contributing to the Canadian economy.”

The 2020 Plastics Innovation ChallengeThe ISC investment is the second government award GREENMANTRA has received as part of Canada’s commitment to enhancing sustainability and innovation. In 2020, GREENMANTRA was a winner of the federal government’s “Plastics Innovation Challenge” aiming to reduce polystyrene waste from food packaging and construction. GREENMANTRA received $1 million from that program to transform insulation into new products for industrial applications. The waste insulation is transformed into new polymer additives that can be used to complete the circle by being used to make new insulation.

Both of these awards recognize the agility of GREENMANTRA’s technology to accept problematic plastic waste streams that would otherwise go to landfill.

Publication date: 01/07/2021

Smart Extrusion


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.