Ineos and Plastic Energy partner on “market’s largest” advanced recycling tech project
01 Nov 2022 --- Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe and Plastic Energy have announced a Memorandum Of Understanding to produce 100,000 metric tons of recycled raw materials from plastic waste annually. The project based in Cologne, Germany, will represent the largest use of plastic energy technology on the market, asserts Ineos.
The new raw materials will enable a circular approach to producing essential plastic items that meet the requirements of demanding food contact and medical applications. Production is targeted for the end of 2026.
Rob Ingram, CEO of Ineos O&P Europe North, says: “Advanced recycling is an essential part of the solution for turning plastic waste into materials that can be used for demanding applications.”
“Our position is that advanced recycling has to be done at scale to make the process environmentally and commercially viable. I’m therefore delighted to take this first step with Plastic Energy toward building that kind of capability from day one.”
Turning waste into polymers
Last year, Ineos’ partnership with Plastic Energy was touted as a “breakthrough” in chemical plastic recycling. PackagingInsights spoke with Susan Fitzsimons, communications manager at Plastic Energy, about the project, which she claimed is the “first of its kind.” The collaboration said the project would help evolve the UK’s recycling infrastructure and environment policy.
Plastic Energy’s patented TAC recycling technology will now turn difficult-to-recycle plastic waste, otherwise destined for incineration or landfills into a valuable raw material branded TACOIL, a Plastic Energy product that can be used to create virgin-quality polymers.
Through the partnership, TACOIL had previously been converted into virgin-quality polymer through the Ineos cracker in Cologne and used by selected customers and brands to demonstrate the viability and demand for materials from advanced recycling.
Ineos will also invest in technology to process the TACOIL further before feeding it to their steam crackers, where it will replace traditional raw materials derived from oil.
This use of advanced recycling enables plastic waste to be turned into new, virgin-quality materials that can be used in demanding applications where safety standards require the highest level of product purity and performance.
A mass-balance approach
Besides reducing the risk of plastic pollution and the use of fossil-based raw materials, the circular reuse of “end of life” plastic will also help to reduce total emissions, supporting the transition to net zero.
Using a mass balance approach, an independent, third-party organization such as ISCC or RSB will certify that fossil-based feedstocks have been substituted by the new, recycled materials and ensure that recycled benefits are being accounted for correctly.
Furthermore, a mass balance approach enables co-processing of circular and fossil feedstocks, a key step in the transition to a circular economy.
Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO at Plastic Energy, says: “We are pleased to announce this project with Ineos to scale our portfolio of plants in Europe further.”
“TACOIL from our recycling process has already been used in products that have been commercialized on the European market, and we look forward to working with Ineos to enable the production of more recycled content.”
Edited by Natalie Schwertheim
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