DGrade Plastic Flake Recycling Factory Opens in KIZAD to Support a Closed Loop in the UAE

DGrade, the UAE company known for recycling plastic into sustainable clothing, has announced the opening of a 4,000 square meter recycling factory in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). The facility will process up to 1 billion plastic bottles a year into recycled plastic flake for the company’s Greenspun™ yarn, and to provide material for local packaging manufacturers.

DGrade’s new factory will recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to meet the increasing demand for sustainable clothing and recycled packaging. Recycling has a key role to play in reducing plastic pollution and the carbon footprint of both the plastics and polyester textile industries, as it reduces energy and water consumption, and produces fewer carbon emissions compared to conventional manufacturing processes.

Kris Barber, DGrade’s CEO explains “Plastic will remain a vital material for packaging because it’s so versatile, cost-effective, and has a low carbon footprint. It is also proven to be one of the most sustainable packaging options when it’s recycled, compared to glass and aluminium. At DGrade our mission is to provide a sustainable solution by recycling plastic into polyester yarn and packaging to support a closed loop and reduce our reliance on resources.”

Photo: DGrade

In addition to using the flake to produce sustainable uniforms and clothing ranges for businesses, DGrade’s PET flake can be used to manufacture a variety of recycled packaging including recycled soap bottles, egg cartons and non-food packaging. In doing so DGrade will support the FMCG sector in achieving their sustainability goals.

The factory will process up to 3,000 kilograms of plastic per hour. To produce DGrade’s high quality PET flake, the recycling process includes hot and cold washing to remove contaminants and state-of-the-art Tomra optical sorting equipment to remove non-PET materials.

The KIZAD location is an ideal fit for DGrade’s purposes. The company has been able to install a custom-built water treatment facility which recycles 80% of water used during the recycling process and next year will be installing solar panels to reduce energy consumption as part of its commitment to improving sustainability.

Abdullah Al Hameli, Head of Economic Cities & Free Zones Cluster said: “AD Ports Group is committed to embracing sustainability across every facet of the organisation through the alignment of strategies with both global and local priorities, such as the UN Global Compact, Sustainable Development Goals for example, and recent commitment for the UAE to be Net Zero by 2050.”

“Today, the Green Agenda in Abu Dhabi and the UAE is moving ahead with ambitious initiatives upcoming, such as the transition away from single-use plastic, and the incentive-based bottle return scheme. Adding to these, we are honoured to welcome DGrade’s sustainable manufacturing solutions to KIZAD’s ecosystem to contribute to a cleaner environment for the community and supporting a circular economy in the UAE.”

Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) on the occasion said: “The opening of the DGrade Recycling Factory is in complete alignment with the vision of the leadership of Abu Dhabi and it is also matches our vision and mandate at EAD of conserving the environment in the emirate by encouraging a culture of recycling. We support industries that lean towards the development of a circular economy where resources are utilised in the most efficient manner, and this is what the DGrade Recycling Factory is all about and we endorse it fully.”

She added: “What makes DGrade such a special project, is the fact that it supports a closed loop for plastic by recycling it into sustainable uniforms, clothing, and accessories which helps reduce the amount of plastic reaching landfills which is one of our main environmental concerns. We all strive for the common goal of ensuring that we are creating a healthy environment for all, whether for individuals or biodiversity, as well as our terrestrial and marine habitats that are affected by plastic. Through recycling projects, we help preserve the safety of our precious environment.”

In order to secure feedstock to run the factory at full capacity, in addition to establishing off-take agreements with waste management companies, DGrade runs the Simply Bottles recycling initiative. This initiative works with businesses, events, and schools to increase recycling rates in the UAE. For more information organizations can send an email to info@dgrade.com.


Source: DGrade (Abu Dhabi, UAE, March 30, 2022)