Neste & Partners to Chemically Recycle Plastic Packaging into Virgin Quality Products
Recycling Technologies, Neste and Unilever will collaborate to further develop and harness chemical recycling to recover and that is currently either incinerated, buried in landfill or exported from the UK. A joint project involving these three companies has been awarded a £3.1m grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to develop chemical recycling to make hard-to-recycle plastic packaging recyclable.
UKRI Grants £3.1M for Three-year Project
In this three-year project, Recycling Technologies will take waste plastic packaging and process it using its recycling machinery to turn it into an oil, called Plaxx®. This material will then be delivered to Neste to analyze and test its quality and suitability for further upgrading it into high-quality drop-in feedstock for the production of new, virgin-quality plastics, such as plastic packaging. Unilever, joining an already well-established collaboration between Recycling Technologies and Neste, will bring insight on design for recycling for packaging.
The grant will help assist, support and refine the testing and any improvement of Recycling Technologies’ plant being built currently at Binn Farm in Perthshire, Scotland. This collaboration will allow the company to improve its systems to process waste plastic optimally to upgrade the Plaxx® so it can be easily further refined at Neste’s facilities into high-quality feedstock for the manufacture of new plastics. The alliance will demonstrate new added-value applications for hard-to-recycle waste plastic materials, such as films, sachets and pouches, using them to create output that can be used to make new packaging.
Neste’s Expertise in Handling Waste and Residue Raw Materials
Neste has extensive experience of handling low-quality waste and residue raw materials, such as renewable waste and residue oils and fats, and processing them into high-quality products. Neste is committed to developing scalable solutions to accelerate plastics recycling with several partners and aims to introduce liquefied plastic waste as a refinery raw material to replace fossil oil use in the production of feedstock for new plastics. Its collaboration with Recycling Technologies enables Neste to accelerate the development of one of the very promising chemical recycling technologies.
“We are excited to have Unilever join the project that builds upon Neste’s ongoing collaboration with Recycling Technologies. UKRI funding for this ground-breaking joint project helps speed up the development of chemical recycling. Collaborative efforts like this one across the plastics value chain are key to accelerating the transition to a circular plastics economy,” says Mercedes Alonso, executive vice president, renewable polymers and chemicals from Neste.
Collaboration to Produce Valuable Feedstock from Waste Plastic
“We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from UKRI to move the UK to the forefront of the next generation of plastic recycling systems. Our collaboration with Neste will allow us to refine and improve our technology to produce valuable feedstock from waste plastic that can be incorporated into the petrochemicals industry supply chain to increase the content of recycled plastic in new plastic production. Our work with Unilever will identify hard to recycle plastics from current mechanical recyclers and how to evolve their design construction to improve their recyclability, ensuring compatibility with Recycling Technologies’ chemical recycling process, for incorporation into new packaging,” Adrian Griffiths, founder and chief executive of Recycling Technologies said.
Unilever is pleased to be part of this collaboration with Recycling Technologies and Neste, developing a solution for plastic which is currently difficult to recycle, including plastic films and flexible packaging. As part of this collaboration, Unilever is committed to looking at the design of its products for greater recyclability, as well as the possibility to use the recycled material back in its product packaging, which would create the end market and value for the materials.
» Publication Date: 30/10/2020