plastic PET recycling
SABIC says postconsumer scrap is serving as feedstock for its advanced recycling polymers line.
Photo courtesy of SABIC and AH&M Marketing Communications.

SABIC now marketing chemically recycled polycarbonate

Global petrochemical company adds polycarbonate resins and blends to its TruCircle product line.

Saudi Arabia-based SABIC is now offering what it calls a certified circular polycarbonate (PC) resin, saying it is the first such resin in the industry based on advanced or chemical recycling.

The company says its “certified circular” polycarbonate (PC) resin and blends are “made from the upcycling of post-consumer mixed plastic – a first in the industry.” The recycled-content PC will be marketed as part of SABIC’s TruCircle product line.

Adds SABIC, “This solution, based on advanced recycling, demonstrates SABIC’s ongoing commitment to drive toward a circular economy for plastics by increasing the availability of more sustainable products.”

According to an internal SABIC life cycle analysis study, the new PC resin offers a potential carbon footprint reduction up to 23 percent “in comparison with its incumbent.”

States Abdullah S. Al-Otaibi, a general manager with SABIC, “We are proud to have developed a new solution that can help our customers to meet their sustainability targets and generate value by increasing the amount of recycled post-consumer mixed plastic they process.”

He adds, “SABIC is continuously broadening its sustainability offerings, and in ETP (engineering thermoplastics) specifically, new solutions in our polycarbonate portfolio to help support our customers’ increasing needs for circular content and CO2 footprint reduction.”

The company says the new TruCircle PC resins are made from post-consumer mixed plastic scrap that is not always cost-effectively mechanically recycled. “Through a process called pyrolysis, difficult-to-recycle used plastic is broken down into a liquid called pyrolysis oil. This is then used as a feedstock to create certified circular building blocks for high-performance plastics with the same properties as the virgin material – in this case, polycarbonate,” says SABIC.

The PC resin line, some types of which are known by the commercial name Lexan, now forms part of SABIC’s ETP portfolio and includes blends such as Cycoloy and Xenoy. “Customers across industries such as electrical and electronics, automotive, health care, building and construction and consumer goods may use the certified circular polycarbonate under identical process conditions to those used for its incumbent,” states SABIC.

The recycled-content PC is certified by what SABIC calls an independent third party under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) protocol using “a standardized mass balance approach, which provides a method of asserting the recycled material content along predefined and transparent rules.”

SABIC’s TruCircle portfolio was launched in 2019 with the intention of “creating a circular economy for plastics and to provide manufacturers with access to more sustainable materials,” states the global company. The TruCircle portfolio “spans design-for-recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular products from feedstock recycling of used plastics, certified renewables products from bio-based feedstock and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and helps prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste,” adds the firm.