VinylPlus exceeds 810,000 tonnes of PVC recycling in 2021

VinylPlus exceeds 810,000 tonnes of PVC recycling in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- VinylPlus exceeds 810,000 tonnes of PVC recycling in 2021, said Sustainableplastics.

At the 10th VinylPlus Sustainability Forum, livestreamed from Brussels today, participants could look back at a successful first year of the new VinylPlus 2030 Commitment, the voluntary 10-year commitment adopted last year by the European PVC industry aimed at minimising the environmental impact of PVC production and manufacturing. VinylPlus 2030, building on the efforts of the previous two voluntary 10-year commitments, aims to proactively contribute to addressing priorities at the European and global levels.

"We aim to contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a particular focus on sustainable consumption and production, climate change and partnerships,” said Brigitte Dero, Managing Director of VinylPlus. “This, in full alignment with relevant EU policies under the European Green Deal, such as the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability."

Despite the fraught conditions of the past year, 810,775 tonnes of PVC waste were recycled and used in new products by European PVC industry through the voluntary commitment, which represents around 26.9% of the total PVC waste generated in 2021 in the EU-27, Norway, Switzerland and the UK. VinylPlus’ recycling rate is above the 23.1% recycling rate estimated by AMI Consulting for the overall plastics recycling in Europe in 2021. In total, some 7.3 million tonnes of PVC having been recycled into new products since 2000, preventing the release of more than 14.5 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

VinylPlus has also made advances in ensuring the traceability of waste. To that end, Recovinyl, responsible for monitoring and verifying the recycling of PVC waste throughout Europe, launched RecoTrace to further enhance its recording and tracing schemes for recycling volumes and the uptake of recyclates in new products. RecoTrace is the first system to comply with the monitoring requirements of the EU Circular Plastics Alliance.

We remind, PVC and caustic soda manufacturer Vinnolit, a Westlake company, will be renamed Westlake Vinnolit.
As part of its ongoing growth, the parent company Westlake is standardizing the brand identity of the entire Group.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of unmixed PVC was about 999,300 tonnes in 2021, up by 7% year on year. The emulsion and suspension PVC market showed stronger demand, despite over a twofold price increase. December estimated SPVC consumption was 81,200 tonnes (excluding deliveries to the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Kazakhstan) versus 74,690 tonnes a month earlier.

France setting the pace for PET chemical recycling in Europe

France setting the pace for PET chemical recycling in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- France is continuing to lead the way in the development of the polyethylene terephthalate chemical recycling industry in Europe, with a spate of new facility announcements set to build out capacity in the country, as per Sustainableplastics.

Chemical recycling is increasingly seen as the route to large-scale plastic waste recycling. French plant supply can help consumer brands reach recycled plastic content targets. Key challenge to overcome remains collection and sorting of suitable feedstocks. France will have three polyethylene terephthalate (PET) chemical recycling facilities opening by 2025, aiming to become the leader in new recycling technologies in Europe. Announcements from Eastman, Loop Industries and Carbios highlight not only the opportunities but also the challenges still facing the recycling industry. Namely, feedstocks.

The announcements point to positive progression within the chemical recycling sector for PET, but also raises questions around Europe’s – and the world’s – ability to provide these new facilities with the material they need.

Any new venture that requires plastic waste as a feedstock makes the established but supply constrained mechanical recycling sector nervous – especially if they view the new capacities as competition for raw materials.

At present the operating capacities of chemical recycling plants remains low in comparison to mechanical recycling, and Europe has a lower capacity in comparison to some regions such as Asia Pacific and North America at less than 100,000 tonnes/year.

Capacities are projected to rise rapidly, given the announced projects and assuming adequate volumes and qualities of feedstocks can be sourced to feed those plants.

We remind, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) with its facility Wellman France Recycling in Verdun, has been working on the PET trays recycling for 6 years and through an ongoing project with VALORPLAST and supported by CITEO. The project has the objective to develop and validate recycling for monolayer and multilayer PET trays.

As per ICIS-MRC Price Report, April PET chips supply to the country increased to 15,000 tonnes, compared to 13,500 tonnes a month earlier. Imports of material were at 31,500 tonnes in April 2021.The share of Chinese material was 99% (14,900 tonnes) in April versus 89% (12,000 tonnes) a month earlier. Supply of bottle grade PET increased by 10% in the four months 2021 compared to the same period last year - from 67,100 tonnes to 73,700 tonnes.

Interface Polymers, Flexipol win GDP850K grant to develop recycled barrier films

Interface Polymers, Flexipol win GDP850K grant to develop recycled barrier films

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Interface Polymers Ltd. and Flexipol Ltd. have jointly won funding through a competition run by UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge, said Sustainableplastics.

The GDP850K grant is to finance a 24-month collaborative project entitled ‘Recycle Ready’ multi-layer barrier plastic packaging films, aimed at the development of fully recyclable LDPE multi-layer packaging suitable for upcycling into high-value applications.

The project brings together Interface Polymers’ internationally patented surface functionality Polarfin additive technology that overcomes inherent molecular level non-compatibility between polyolefins to enable them to be recycled, and Flexipol’s film technology expertise and flexible packaging manufacturing capabilities.

Using Interface Polymers’ compatibility enabling di-block copolymer additive, the project is looking to build in recyclability as an integral part of originally manufactured multi-layer domestic and commercial packaging product formulations that can be viably scaled up. The aim is to provide a new range of Recycle Ready multi-layer packaging with a recyclability classification that will allow the waste to be collected and 100% reclaimed via existing pure stream reprocessing centres instead of being incinerated or sent to a landfill. The project team is also looking to provide multi-layer barrier packaging options with a minimum of 30% recycled material that will not incur the ?200 per tonne plastic packaging tax introduced in the UK in April 2022.

The vast majority of existing multi-layer barrier plastic packaging cannot be recycled as it is classified according to ASTM D7611 RIC (resin identification code) as RIC “7” - indicating that the resin does not belong to the other types of resin defined from categories 1 to 6 (PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS). It therefore mostly ends up being incinerated or disposed of in landfills, creating a waste problem that is subject to increasing socioeconomic and legislative pressures.

While consumer demand for more sustainable product alternatives such as mono-layer plastic packaging is rising, mono-layer flexible packaging has for the most part not been able to deliver the same level of functionality, performance and product benefits provided by multi-layer barrier plastic packaging. The key aim of the Recycle Ready project is the development of fully scalable alternative LDPE multi-layer barrier films for the commercial production of food approved multi-layer flexible packaging that can be repeatedly recycled using existing pure plastic waste streams sorting and separation processing plants.

In addition to the film qualification and production scale-up of the new range of Ready Recycle multi-layer packaging products, Flexipol will be working with established bulk food processors. This ensures that the entire value chain is included in the project, from packaging production, food product packaging and packaged food processing, to post-use waste packaging collection and washing for recycling. The longer term objective is to leverage solutions coming out of this project into other multi-layer barrier film packaging sectors using alternative polymers, including PE, PET, EVOH and PA.

As per MRC, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) with its facility Wellman France Recycling in Verdun, has been working on the PET trays recycling for 6 years and through an ongoing project with VALORPLAST and supported by CITEO.

We remind, Axens and Toray Films Europe have plans to establish a new Pet chemical recycling facility in Saint-Maurice-de-Beynost, France. The new units will make use of Axens’ Rewind Pet technology along with Toray Films Europe’s existing polymerization plant to recycle 80,000 tons of Pet plastic waste every year.

Tetra Pak tests aluminium-free barrier layer in new cartons

Tetra Pak tests aluminium-free barrier layer in new cartons

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Can the aluminium traditionally used as a barrier layer in food carton packages be safely replaced by a more environmentally friendly barrier? According to Tetra Pak, it looks as if that may well be the case, said Sustainableplastics.

The company first spent 15 months on the commercial technology validation of the use of a polymer-based barrier to replace the aluminium layer, and is now moving forward with tests using a fibre-based barrier - a first within food carton packages distributed under ambient conditions, said Tetra Pak.

The development of the fibre-based barrier is a response to the expectations of the end market, said Tetra Pak. Consumer research from around the world revealed that approximately 40% of consumers would be more motivated to sort for recycling if packages were made entirely from paperboard and had no plastic or aluminium.

The aluminium layer that is currently used in food carton packages is important for ensuring food safety. However, although thinner than a human hair, it contributes to a third of the greenhouse gas emissions linked to base materials used by Tetra Pak.

Seeking to reduce the climate impact of this type of packaging, Tetra Pak initiated in late 2020 the commercial technology validation in Japan of the use of a polymer-based barrier layer, which helped to provide insight into the value chain implications of the change and to quantify the carbon footprint reduction. It also confirmed adequate oxygen protection for vegetable juice, while enabling increased recycling rates in a country where recyclers favour aluminium-free cartons.

Incorporating these learnings, the company is now testing a new fibre-based barrier, in close collaboration with some of its customers. A first pilot batch of single serve packs featuring this industry-first material are currently on shelf for a commercial consumer test, with further technology validation scheduled later in 2022.

“Early results suggest that the package with a fibre-based barrier will offer substantial CO2 reduction when compared to traditional aseptic cartons, together with comparable shelf life and food protection properties,” said Gilles Tisserand, Vice President Climate & Biodiversity, Tetra Pak, “We believe this development will therefore act as a breakthrough in reducing climate impact. In addition, cartons with higher paper content are also more attractive for paper mills; thus, this concept presents clear potential for realising a low carbon circular economy for packaging."

Tetra Pak is investing EUR100 million per year over the next 5 to 10 years to further enhance the environmental profile of food cartons, including the research and development of packages that are made with a simplified material structure and increased renewable content, added Eva Gustavsson, Vice President Materials & Package, Tetra Pak. To that end, the company will be collaborating not just with customers and suppliers, but also with an ecosystem of start-ups, universities and tech companies, she said, ‘providing us access to cutting edge competences, technologies and manufacturing facilities’.

"There is a long journey ahead of us, but with the support of our partners and a strong determination to achieve our sustainability and food safety ambitions, we are well on our way."

As per MRC, Tetra Pak and Saudi paper manufacturer Obeikan Paper Industries have entered into a joint venture to recycle used beverage cartons. Tetra Pak's Sustainability Director for Greater Middle East & Africa Rodney Reynders told a media round table in Cairo that the company will invest about USD1 million in the recycling unit, which will convert beverage cartons into value-added products.

We remind, In 2010, Tetra Pak had set a goal to double its recycling rate to 40 percent by 2020.

Wood awarded EPCm contract for a new PVDF facility for Solvay in France

Wood awarded EPCm contract for a new PVDF facility for Solvay in France

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wood has secured a new multi-million-dollar contract to deliver engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCm) for Solvay new polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) site to be built in Tavaux, France, said the company.

PVDF is a high-performance polymer and is produced to meet the growing demand of lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles, creating safer and longer-range performance. The site will increase Solvay France’s PVDF capacity to 35,000 tons per year – making it the largest PVDF production site in Europe.

Giuseppe Zuccaro, President, Process and Chemicals at Wood said: “We will leverage our in-depth knowledge and experience of delivering EPCm on specialty chemical projects, enabling Solvay France to achieve high-performance polymers used in sustainable mobility. We are committed to the reliable, safe and successful delivery of this major project."

The project will be delivered by Wood’s teams across Milan, Italy and Chennai in India and is expected to be completed at the end of 2023.

We also remind that in August, 2020, through the acquisition of the Solvay polyamide (PA) business, BASF enhanced its R&D capabilities in Asia Pacific with new technologies, technical expertise, and upgraded material and part testing services. BASF is planning to integrate the R&D centers from Solvay into its R&D existing facilities in Shanghai, China, and Seoul, Korea. The enhanced capabilities will boost BASF’s position as a solution provider to develop advanced material solutions for key industries.

As per MRC, Solvay, a leading global supplier of specialty polymers, announces the production of the new generation solvent Rhodiasolv IRIS, with eco-friendly properties. Previously manufactured in China, this solvent will now be produced from 2023 onwards at Solvay's Melle site, France.