Braskem, a polyolefins producer based in Philadelphia, has announced that it plans to collaborate with Encina Development Group, The Woodlands, Texas, to develop a long-term relationship to produce recycled polypropylene (PP).
Encina’s technology produces renewable chemicals made from postconsumer plastic, and the company is planning to break ground on a new facility in the second half of 2021. Once completed, that facility is expected to process 175,000 tons of plastic scrap, converting it to more than 90,000 tons of recycled chemicals per year, Braskem states in a news release on its collaboration with the company.
Encina’s new facility will be designed to expand to handle 350,000 tons of incoming plastic scrap in future phases, Braskem reports. The company also will use Encina’s technology that extracts chemicals from plastic through catalytic pyrolysis. Braskem says the process uses mixed plastics from postconsumer sources.
As part of the collaboration, Braskem says it plans to work closely with Encina to develop logistics, product quality and certifications for a recycled PP feedstock that Braskem will use in the production of recycled PP materials for applications such as food packaging, consumer and hygiene products. The two companies have announced their intent to develop a formal supply agreement prior to the project’s financing approval in 2021.
“Encina’s technology and this important project will divert thousands of tons of hard-to-recycle plastic from landfills," says Mark Nikolich, Braskem America CEO. "As the North American leader in polypropylene, Braskem is actively looking to purchase sustainable propylene feedstock that will allow us to increase both recycled and renewable-sourced products in our portfolio as stated in our new circular economy commitments. This agreement is an important step in our next phase of growth as a company, aimed at realizing our vision of a carbon neutral circular economy and helping our clients meet their aggressive recycled content goals in the years to come."
David Schwedel, executive director at Encina, adds, “We are very pleased to be working towards implementing our circular solution that directly addresses the global challenges of plastic waste we all see.”
Braskem also recently announced its commitment to a carbon-neutral economy, with targets for growing its "I’m green" recycled products portfolio sales of 300,000 tons by 2025 and 1 million by 2030. Braskem also became a funding partner of the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, which is an initiative of The Recycling Partnership aimed at increasing U.S. curbside recycling access for PP and ensuring PP is recovered and reused.