Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe, which is based in Switzerland, and Plastic Energy, London, have announced that the two companies will work together on a trial to convert hard-to-recycle plastic material such as flexible packaging into food-grade quality plastic for use in food packaging and other high hygiene standard applications. The two companies say they have a shared goal to create a circular economy value chain in advanced recycling, also known as chemical recycling, to drive circularity for the next generation of food-grade recycled-content packaging.
According to a news release from Plastic Energy, the two companies plan to launch a preliminary trial on this recycling process in the first quarter of 2022 at the Ineos Grangemouth facility in Scotland. Plastic Energy uses its advanced recycling process to convert postconsumer plastic through a pyrolysis process into a liquid raw material called TACOIL for reuse in plastic production.
Petroineos, a refining and energy trading joint venture between PetroChina International London and Ineos, also is a partner in the project. The preliminary trial will use existing refinery operations to process TACOIL supplied by Plastic Energy, which already operates two recycling plants in Spain. Petroineos will supply recycled raw material to Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe to be transformed into certified circular plastics.
The project is complementary to the existing use of mechanically recycled plastic by Ineos, according to Plastic Energy. The company reports that this preliminary trial and the evolution of the policy environment in the United Kingdom will determine whether the groups develop a large-scale advanced recycling plant in the U.K.
“We are pleased to announce this trial in Scotland, which exemplifies a strong partnership between companies working together to take big strides to reduce plastic waste in the U.K.,” says Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. “Working with Ineos, we are pleased to see our advanced recycling technology being used as a core component to improve the circularity of packaging.”
Peter Grant, business director at Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe, adds, “Turning end-of-life plastic into new food-grad quality packaging products makes environmental and commercial sense. This innovative trial is a further positive step towards eliminating waste and makes circular economy solutions possible. Advanced recycling adds to the existing initiatives within our product portfolio to make greater use of postconsumer material, while ensuring that sustainable solutions meet all safety, quality and performance in-use standards.”