EU to propose boosting recycled content and reuse of packaging

EU to propose boosting recycled content and reuse of packaging

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Commission is set to announce this week proposals to reduce packaging waste with new targets for recycled content in plastic drinks bottles and for the reuse of take-away cups and of packages used for online deliveries, said Reuters.

The proposed revision will expedite the EU’s goal to make all packaging reusable or recyclable by 2030 and contribute to its aim to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Expected to be presented on 30 November, the proposal includes new targets for recycled content in plastic drinks bottles, as well as for takeaway cups and packages used for online deliveries.

Reuters reported that under the tentative proposal, plastic drink bottles and contact-sensitive packaging such as food wrapping made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) would need to contain 30% recycled content by 2030.

Contact-sensitive packaging that is not made from PET will need 10% recycled content, while other plastic packaging will be required to include 35% recycled content. These requirements would increase to 50% for contact-sensitive packaging and 65% for other packaging, including drinks bottles, by 2040.

In addition, 20% of takeaway cups in the EU should be made reusable by 2030 and 80% by 2040, while 10% of beer and soft drinks containers should be reusable by 2030, with this increasing to 25% by 2040. The draft proposal also stipulates that 10% of non-food online deliveries packaging should be reusable by 2030 and 50% by the following decade.

The proposals have kept their recycling targets unchanged from the directive issued in 2018. Under this, the commission set 65% recycling targets by 2025 and 70% by 2030.

The proposal will be subject to approval from the European Parliament and the European Council. Last July, the EU introduced a ban on certain single-use plastic items under the Single-Use Plastics Directive. The Single-Use Plastics Directive aims to eliminate ten single-use plastic items that represent 70% of all marine litter in the EU.

We remind, Sabic and PepsiCo have signed a memorandum of understanding at the Sabic Center for the Development of Plastic Applications - SPADC - in Riyadh, under which the two companies will collaborate on the implementation of a programme to promote a more circular economy for plastics in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

FSA publishes insights into coronavirus on packaging and foods

FSA publishes insights into coronavirus on packaging and foods

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA ) has published research on the survival of coronavirus (Covid-19) on food packaging and foods, said Packaging-gateway.

The research was commissioned by the FSA and conducted by the University of Southampton. In the study, researchers deliberately added the Covid-19 virus to most types of food packaging, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) trays and bottles, aluminium cans and composite drinks cartons.

The FSA said these materials were chosen as they are widely used and consumption from them may involve direct mouth contact with the packaging. The study found that the virus’ lifespan depends on the food packaging and foods examined.

All packaging materials examined saw a ‘significant drop’ in virus contamination in the first 24 hours, in all relative humidity conditions and at both 6°C and 21°C. Researchers also studied the virus survival on the surface of foods such as fruits and vegetables, cheese, meats, bread and pastries.

The virus was found to survive for several days on foods like cheese and ham, while it decreased quickly on items such as apples and olives. The study comes after the FSA published a risk assessment in 2020 that determined that the chances of humans receiving the Covid-19 virus from food were very low.

FSA microbiology risk assessment team leader Anthony Wilson said: “In the early stages of the pandemic, we didn’t know much about how the virus would survive on different food surfaces and packaging, so the risk assessment was based on a worst-case assumption.

“This research gives us additional insight into the stability of coronavirus on the surfaces of a variety of foods and confirms that assumptions we made in the early stages of the pandemic were appropriate and that the probability that you can catch Covid via food is very low.”

We remind, EU Commission has published its far-ranging draft revision of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Framework directive which will have major implications for the entirety of the packaging and waste management chain. The draft legislation sets out minimum recycled content targets, minimum reuse and refill targets, mandates packaging recyclability, requires the implementation of deposit return schemes, sets out requirements for biodegradable packaging, reporting and labelling requirements, and appears to allow the use of chemical recycling in recycling targets as long as its end output is not used for fuel or backfilling applications.

OMV introduces new corporate structure to drive sustainable growth and innovation

OMV introduces new corporate structure to drive sustainable growth and innovation

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OMV has announced its new corporate structure, designed to fully enable the delivery of Strategy 2030, said the company.

OMV’s new strategy evolves around its long-term goal of becoming a net-zero company by 2050 at the latest and driving its transition towards becoming a leading integrated sustainable fuels, chemicals and materials company. At the same time, OMV is striving to become a global leader in circular economy solutions and will also build a low-carbon business in the energy sector, which includes geothermal energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS) in particular.

The new organization will be built on five distinct areas. In addition to the CEO and CFO areas, three business segments will be established: Chemicals & Materials, Fuels & Feedstock, and Energy.

The transformation will be fueled by a high degree of innovation and new technologies, while maximizing the value of life cycle management of current technologies. Aimed at strengthening these capabilities across the Group, a dedicated Innovation & Technology function will be established under the leadership of the CEO. In addition, group-wide Controlling and Performance as well as Sustainability management in the CFO area will be strengthened to foster effective strategic and sustainable group management.

The Chemicals & Materials segment will continue to cover the entire chemicals value chain, including responsibility for capturing value from the circular economy. The business segment will act as the growth engine of OMV, aiming to develop into a leader in high-quality polyolefin solutions as well as renewable and circular chemicals and materials. – In the field of chemical recycling, OMV recently took a further big step by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with a partner to enter into a mutually exclusive collaboration agreement for the global commercial licensing of OMV’s proprietary ReOil® technology.

The Fuels & Feedstock segment combines the previously distinct Executive Board areas of Refining on the one hand and Marketing & Trading on the other. This division is now responsible for refining operations, logistics, commercial business, and the entire filling station network. The business segment will support the transition by reconfiguring refining in the direction of sustainable fuels and feedstocks for the chemical industry and by building a leading position in EV charging locations in the CEE markets. – The production of sustainable fuels has already started and will be significantly expanded by 2030. Here OMV has already entered into partnerships with four major European airlines for the supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

The Energy segment will be the home to the traditional Exploration & Production business as well as the entire Gas business. A new addition here is the Low-Carbon business. This is where OMV will use its assets and know-how to develop projects in the areas of renewable energy with a focus on geothermal energy and CCS. – OMV recently completed a production and injection test to analyze the geothermal potential in the Vienna Basin with promising initial results.

We remind, OMV and Wood, a global leader in consulting and engineering solutions in energy and materials markets, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into a mutually exclusive collaboration agreement for the commercial licensing of OMV’s proprietary ReOil technology.

INEOS Enterprises completes the acquisition of ASHTA Chemicals Inc. from Bigshire Mexico

INEOS Enterprises completes the acquisition of ASHTA Chemicals Inc. from Bigshire Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Enterprises has today completed the acquisition of ASHTA Chemicals Inc, from Bigshire Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V. The deal, consists of a 100ktpa Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)/65 kte Chlorine plant, said the company.

ASHTA Chemicals will now be known as INEOS KOH and will be part of the INEOS Enterprises business. INEOS KOH will continue to manufacture and market chlorine and a range of potassium-based chemicals to a variety of end use markets including liquid fertilizers, runway de-icers, food ingredients, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural applications.

The business employs around 110 people at the site in Ashtabula, Ohio, close to the INEOS Pigments operations, from where it operates a recently commissioned membrane cell technology chlor-alkali unit.

Commenting on the agreement, Ashley Reed, CEO INEOS Enterprises said “I am pleased to have now completed the acquisition of ASHTA Chemicals, which is an excellent strategic fit for the long-term local supply and use of chlorine at INEOS Pigments. In addition, ASHTA will bring a well-established and respected North American potassium hydroxide business into the INEOS Enterprises portfolio.”

We remind, INEOS Europe AG and Pacific Gas (Hong Kong) Holdings Co., Ltd, have signed long-term time charter agreements for four 99,000 cbm (cubic metre) VLECs (Very Large Ethane Carriers). The deal will bring INEOS’ ethane fleet to 16 vessels, with eight VLEC and eight Dragon class ethane carriers. With these agreements, INEOS will have a total of six VLECs under time charter with Pacific Gas.

Petrobras boosts five-year investment plan to USD78 bn

Petrobras boosts five-year investment plan to USD78 bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil's state-controlled oil producer Petrobras disclosed a 15% increase in its five-year spending plan to USD78 billion, with little change to the company's strategy of focusing on fossil fuel production, said Reuters.

Throughout 2022, Petrobras delivered an operational and financial performance in line with its commitment to generate value for society and shareholders and in full adherence with the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, showing the Company's resilience and solidity, and thus increasing the degree of confidence in achieving its goals.

From an operational standpoint, in the first nine months of 2022, the Company maintained a solid performance delivering significant advances in its operations.

From a financial standpoint, the Company continued on its path of delivering consistent and sustainable results. The capital structure was maintained at a healthy level and cash reached a level more compatible with the Company’s financial needs. The Company delivered solid financial results, reaching the first and second highest quarterly EBITDA and operating cash flow marks in its history, in the second and third quarters of 2022, respectively. The generation of operating cash flow associated with stable and controlled indebtedness and solid liquidity prospects allowed Petrobras to declare R$13.80 per common and preferred share in shareholder remuneration in 2022. It is important to note that the Brazilian government receives about 37% of this total, the largest single portion, in addition to being benefited by the payment of taxes, which reached a record for the first nine months of the year of R$ 222 billion.

In this context, the new SP 2023-27 was prepared preserving the Company's vision, values, and purpose. The strategies were maintained, with the exception of those related to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Innovation, which were improved.

We remind, Petrobras completed the sale of Isaac Sabba (REMAN) refinery in Manaus, Amazonas state to Ream, a subsidiary of Grupo Atem. Petrobras received USD257.2m, higher than the initial sale price of USD189.5m. The additional money reflects variation in working capital, net debt, investments and what Petrobras called monetary correction. The refinery has a throughput capacity of 46,000 bbl/day.