Ineos and Plastic Energy Collaborate on Advanced Plastic Recycling Facility
The planned Ineos and Plastic Energy facility will use the latter’s patented TAC technology to break down plastic waste and turn it into ‘premium’ polyollefin-based plastics.
Ineos Olefins & Polymers (U.S. office in League City, Texas) and recycling firm Plastic Energy Ltd., both of the U.K., are collaborating on building a recycling facility in the U.K., slated for strartup by end of 2023, that will convert waste plastic into the raw material to make ‘premium’ polyolefin-based plastics.
Key to this collaboration is Plastic Energy’s patented Thermal Anaerobic Conversion (TAC) technology which reportedly converts previous unrecyclable plastic waste into its basic molecules, yielding a product called TACoil. This raw material can be used by many Ineos crackers to produce traditional feedstocks to make ‘virgin’ polyolefin-based plastics for use in food packaging, medical products, automotive parts and pipes for safe water transportation. A source at Ineos says the facility will process a range of mixed and multi-layered plastic waste composed of LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, PP, and some PS. “These materials will be processed together as a mixed fraction and will therefore not be segregated by plastic types or colors, for instance.”
Initial trials from Plastic Energy’s current advanced recycling process have been successfully completed, with the raw material converted into virgin polymer through the Ineos cracker at Köln, Germany. The plastics made from this trial will now be used by selected customers and brands to demonstrate the benefits of the process. The company’s TAC technology reportedly makes it possible to produce final product with an identical specification to virgin material. It removes all contamination so that the resulting polymers can be used in food and medical packaging, where safety standards require the highest level of product purity.
Said Rob Ingram, CEO of Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe, “This represents the delivery of another important milestone in the Ineos sustainability strategy. To take plastic waste back to virgin plastic is the ultimate definition of recycling and will create a truly Circular Economy solution. This will enable us to offer another opportunity for our customers to help them meet their pledges and commitments in this area.”
RPET prices are expected to rise this year. Recyclers expect a strong year for R-HDPE, too.
Two recently developed technologies are said to make high-quality PET recycling more economical.
Materials suppliers and film processors have been hard at work creating new label offerings compatible with PET bottle recycling.