Braskem and Encina Development Group have joined forces on a new project to build and operate a new facility that will turn waste plastics into recycled chemical building blocks for new materials. The facility will utilise Encina's proprietary, economically viable technology to convert mixed plastic waste into a traceable, renewable source of industrial base chemicals and fuels. Based on catalytic pyrolysis, Encina’s process utilises non-recyclable mixed plastics from post-consumer waste.
Encina aims to break ground on the new facility in the second half of 2021. Once completed, the facility is targeted to process 175,000 tons of plastic waste, converting it into more than 90,000 tons of recycled chemicals per year.
The plant will be designed to expand to 350,000 tons of incoming plastic waste in future phases.
Braskem will contribute its expertise regarding the necessary logistics, product quality and certifications for a recycled propylene feedstock that it will use to produce recycled PP materials, targeted at applications such as food packaging, consumer and hygiene products.
The parties have announced their intention to develop a formal supply agreement prior to the project's financing approval in 2021.
“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,” said Mark Nikolich, Braskem America CEO.
Braskem has made a public commitment to become a carbon neutral company by 2050. This led the company in 2019 to expand its I'm green brand, which originally comprised its renewably-sourced resins only, to include I'm green recycled resins, made from recycled waste, and a combination of PCR and renewable, bio-based and recycled I'm green resin.
The company also recently announced an R$67 million investment in the construction of a recycling line, which will have a production capacity of 14,000 tons of high-quality, post-consumer resin per year. The project, which will be installed in Indaiatuba, in the interior region of São Paulo state, is expected to start operation in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Also, earlier this year Braskem became a founding member and funding partner of the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, an initiative of The Recycling Partnership with a focus on increasing U.S. kerbside recycling access for polypropylene and ensuring PP is widely recovered and reused.