California-based waste renewal company Brightmark and bp, an international oil company transitioning into an integrated energy company, are jointly looking at the feasibility of bringing Brightmark’s advanced recycling technology to Europe.
The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for that purpose and are reportedly eying Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium as possible locations.
Brightmark’s proprietary technology is based on pyrolysis and converts end-of-life waste plastics otherwise destined for incineration, landfill, or export, into petrochemical feedstocks - commercial grade ultra-low sulfur diesel, naphtha and wax - for plastics and other industrial applications.
“Their innovative technology complements our refining and trading businesses,” explained Carol Howle, executive vice president trading and shipping, bp. As well, the collaboration aligns with bp’s goal of tapping new sources of value through circularity as set out in its Sustainability Report 2020.
According to Brightmark, unlike similar technologies, its process accepts co-mingled, single-stream plastics, includes items not currently recyclable via conventional mechanical processes such as plastic film, flexible packaging, styrofoam, plastic beverage cups, car seats and children’s toys.
“Bringing our plastics renewal solution to Europe is a key next step in delivering on our mission to Reimagine Waste and create a circular economy globally,” said Bob Powell, founder and CEO of Brightmark. “bp has been a terrific partner with Brightmark and we’re looking forward to expanding on our combined initiatives to scale our environmentally and economically sustainable circular solutions in Europe.”
Each prospective plastics renewal plant could divert up to 400,000 tonnes a year (kt/yr) of waste plastic from disposal to create sustainable products and potentially create 100+ full-time jobs supporting the circular economy. Brightmark’s goal over the next five years is to divert 8.4 million tonnes of plastic from landfills and the natural environment. As a first step, Brightmark and bp intend to work together to develop plans that could lead to the construction of an initial European plant.
This new MOU is a further development of the relationship between Brightmark and bp. bp is the offtaker for Brightmark’s 100kt/yr plastics renewal plant in Ashley, Indiana USA, which is currently undergoing final commissioning. In addition, Brightmark recently announced plans for the world’s largest plastics conversion plant in Macon, Georgia USA with a 400kt/yr capacity.