“Transforming the future of sustainable PET production:” Loop and thyssenkrupp sign Global Alliance Agreement

“Transforming the future of sustainable PET production:” Loop and thyssenkrupp sign Global Alliance Agreement

20 Dec 2018 --- Sustainable plastic innovator Loop Industries has signed a Global Alliance Agreement with thyssenkrupp’s Industrial Solutions division, Uhde Inventa-Fischer. The Alliance intends to combine Loop’s depolymerization technology with thyssenkrupp’s PET Melt-To-Resin technology. The move is expected to increase the availability, resource-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of 100 percent sustainable PET on a global scale.

The integration of Loop and thyssenkrupp technologies is intended to provide rapidly scalable Waste-to-Resin (WTR) solutions to supply the global demand for 100 percent sustainable PET and Polyester. Uhde Inventa-Fischer has begun integration assessments and expects the conceptual design to be completed in Q1 2019.

Resource-efficient, cost-attractive
“The new integrated WTR manufacturing process will employ the most advanced technologies available, which we believe will result in the most resource efficient manufacturing process for PET available,” Nelson Switzer, Chief Growth Officer, Loop Industries, tells PackagingInsights.

“In addition, this process decouples plastic from fossil fuels as the feedstock used is low and no value PET which has a significantly smaller environmental footprint than that of conventional petrochemicals,” he says.

The Global Alliance Agreement advances the integration of their respective technologies and is intended to provide a turn-key industrial solution for the license of the technology to manufacturing companies seeking a commercially viable technology to produce sustainable PET and polyester plastic.

“We have successfully established a large variety of patented technologies and processes in the global market. This agreement will enable a very resource efficient and cost-attractive solution for the production of sustainable PET and polyester,” says Sami Pelkonen, CEO of the Electrolysis & Polymers Technologies business unit of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions. “The alliance with Loop Industries is an important milestone on the way to producing sustainable PET and polyester.”

“This Global Alliance Agreement allows for Loop’s technology to rapidly transform the plastic market and fully capitalize on our disruptive potential as the leader in the circular economy for PET plastic,” adds Daniel Solomita, Founder and CEO of Loop Industries, “thyssenkrupp’s extensive engineering expertise and proven Melt-To-Resin technology provides Loop with a world-class partner to bring the Waste-to-Resin manufacturing solution to market.”

“WTR is a key pillar of Loop’s commercialization blueprint to meet global demand from consumer packaged goods and other brands for Loop branded sustainable resin,” Solomita continues. “We plan to license the respective technologies developed by Loop and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions to manufacturing partners in geographical regions around the world in order to quickly roll out multiple WTR plants over the next decade.”

Loop and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions have already begun the integration assessment and are collaborating on the WTR process design package ready for the license to global manufacturing companies who will now be able to establish facilities close to urban centers where feedstock is readily available – and finally decouple PET plastic from fossil fuels. Both companies will retain all rights, titles and interests in and to their respective intellectual property.

Extensive, global demand
The demand for 100 percent sustainable PET from consumer packaged goods brands globally is extensive, according to Switzer. “One need only look at the signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Commitment and the members of the New Plastics Economy,” he tells PackagingInsights.

“On top of that, consider the commitments made independently by companies and brands such as Danone’s Evian, which has pledged to have a 100 percent sustainable PET bottle by 2025, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo who have each pledged 50 percent by 2030 and Nestlé Waters who has committed to 25 percent by 2025 and you see a major shift and concrete action,” Switzer says.

“FMCG’s are certainly using mechanically recycled PET (“rPET”) in their packaging, however, there are limits to what they can use because firstly, there is a finite supply of food-grade quality rPET available and secondly, some of the available food-grade rPET still cannot meet the rigorous quality standards of the FMCGs which therefore limits the percentage of rPET they can use in any one package,” he adds.

Access to recycled plastic resin is high on the agenda for FMCGs as long-term sustainability goals edge closer. In November, Loop entered into a multi-year agreement with Coca-Cola to supply its branded, high-grade 100 percent recycled plastic resin to participating bottlers within the US. Coca-Cola believes this will be a significant step towards its goal of producing at least 50 percent of its PET bottles from recycled plastics.

In October, Coca-Cola’s competitor, PepsiCo, entered into a similar multi-year agreement with Loop in order to facilitate increased access to high-quality recycled plastics across its US production.

“We are very proud to have developed a commercially viable technology that will help solve a global plastic problem – and we have done so in partnership with a world-class engineering partner in thyssenkrupp, a world-class PET manufacturer in Indorama Ventures and leading consumer brands including Danone, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola European Partners and others,” Switzer concludes.

By Joshua Poole

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