MOSCOW (MRC) -- SEE, ExxonMobil, and Ahold Delhaize USA have announced their collaboration on an advanced recycling initiative, the first of its kind in the US, according to BusinessWire.
The project recycles flexible plastics from the food supply chain and remakes them into new, certified circular food-grade packaging. The initiative is expected to begin this summer and scale over time.
“We’re proud to work with SEE and ExxonMobil on this collaboration, which has the potential to radically change the way retailers and manufacturers leverage food-grade recycled plastics as a key means of keeping plastics out of landfills,” said Brittni Furrow, VP, Health & Sustainability, Ahold Delhaize USA. “We’re eager to learn from this work and apply the learnings to advance our own plastics ambitions, but also advance these efforts broadly, helping to ensure a better tomorrow for our planet.”
A critical challenge facing the food industry is driving a circular economy for plastics using packaging materials that have strict hygiene and performance requirements for food protection and distribution. Recovering these essential packaging materials requires innovative recycling solutions beyond traditional mechanical recycling.
The collaboration between SEE, ExxonMobil, and Ahold Delhaize USA will help increase the use of recycled content by validating the technical and economic viability of a certified circular system based on advanced recycling technology and mass balance attribution. Flexible plastics will be designed to be collected, recycled, and repurposed into new food packaging. The project will help keep used flexible plastics out of landfills, increase the number of times essential plastics can be recycled, and ensure the safety and quality of packaged foods.
As MRC reported earlier, last month, ExxonMobil announced that construction of the new linear alpha olefins (LAO) manufacturing unit at its Baytown, Texas, integrated petrochemical complex is progressing and targeting commercial start up in mid-2023. When fully operational, the new facility will have the capacity to produce approximately 350,000 metric tons of LAO annually.
We remind that in February, 2022, ExxonMobil and SABIC successful started up Gulf Coast Growth Ventures world-scale manufacturing facility in San Patricio County, Texas. The new facility will produce materials used in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants. The operation includes a 1.8 MM metric tpy ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene (PE) units capable of producing up to 1.3 MM metric tpy, and a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit with a capacity of 1.1 MM metric tpy.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC''s ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.