Nexus Circular and Braskem partner for food grade plastic from advanced recycling tech
24 Jan 2023 --- Nexus Circular and Braskem have signed a ten-year definitive commercial agreement to supply circular feedstocks from a new advanced recycling facility.
Braskem will produce certified circular PP utilizing Nexus Circular’s commercial-scale advanced recycling technology, which converts landfill-bound plastics into high-quality circular feedstocks used to produce environmentally sustainable virgin-quality plastics.
“Nexus’ circular liquid feedstocks are used to produce virgin-quality plastics, displacing fossil-based sources and accelerating the circular economy for plastics. These circular virgin-quality plastics have the same properties as virgin plastics from fossil-based sources and can be certified as food grade and food safe,” a spokesperson at Nexus Circular tells PackagingInsights.
Braskem, reportedly the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas, completed a strategic investment in Nexus Circular in January 2022.
The contracted volumes of advanced recycled circular products from Nexus will support Braskem’s strategic objective to sell 300,000 metric tons of products with recycled content by 2025 and one million metric tons by 2030.
The project will add to Braskem America’s existing sustainable PP and PE portfolio, which currently consists of nine post-consumer recycled (PCR) products, including two PCR PP grades that can be used in a wide range of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food contact applications where PP is used today.
Braskem’s full range of PCR solutions can be used in various PP and PE applications, including but not limited to consumer packaging, caps and closures, durable goods, automotive and consumer housewares.
Landfill-bound plastic conversion
Hard-to-recycle plastics need to have a well-defined and secure outlet to justify the collection, otherwise they are sent to landfill, explains the Nexus Circular spokesperson.
“Nexus continues to demonstrate a consistent and increasing demand for these hard-to-recycle plastics as feedstocks for our expanding advanced recycling manufacturing footprint.”
The advanced recycling technology must be validated, economical and scalable to be viable and must be able to consistently produce a high-quality circular liquid product that can be used directly in the production of virgin-quality plastics.
“Nexus Circular is a commercial leader in advanced recycling with proven proprietary technology and a leading, economical and scalable process that converts landfill-bound films and other hard-to-recycle plastics into high-quality ISCC Plus-certified circular liquid products that can be fed directly to petrochemical refineries and crackers without additional and costly post-processing,” they add.
“Since 2018, Nexus has been consistently supplying commercial volumes of circular liquid products, having diverted over eight million pounds of used plastics from landfill.”
A flywheel effect
Eliminating the accumulation of plastic in our environment is a complex problem that requires collaboration across the plastics value and supply chain, asserts the spokesperson.
“Companies are committed to changing the trajectory of plastics in the environment and sustainability pledges are driving real change and investment.”
“This is having a flywheel effect that brings collaboration across the value and supply chain to create innovative, new recycling technologies and incentivizes additional investment in recycling infrastructure and the overall ecosystem,” they share.
“Nexus is partnering with like-minded world-leading companies like Braskem who are committed to sustainability and the development of innovative, circular solutions.”
Braskem America’s CEO Mark Nikolich says: “We look forward to a long and growing partnership with Nexus to secure high-quality feedstock for the production of Braskem’s certified circular PP resins. This supports our corporate initiative to develop a carbon-neutral circular economy for plastics while supporting our client’s goals for plastics with recycled content.”
Meanwhile, Jodie Morgan, CEO at Nexus, adds: “This long-term commercial contract builds upon the strong foundation of our growing relationship. We are excited to partner with Braskem to accelerate our impact and ability to address the complex challenges of plastics accumulation in the environment.”
The spokesperson concludes that the site for the new advanced recycling facility will be disclosed at a later date and has been selected based on an optimal combination of feedstock logistics, offtake partner logistics and regional development dynamics. The facility will begin construction in 2023.
By Natalie Schwertheim
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