Calgary-based Nova Chemicals, a producer of virgin polyethylene has partnered with Canadian plastics recycler Merlin Plastics with the aim of advancing the supply of high-quality, post-consumer recyclate - PCR - for consumer packaging.
Currently, recycled polyethylene is mostly used in non-food applications such as detergent bottles and plastic lumber. The two companies have now signed an agreement under which Nova will provide financing for a multi-million-dollar project to accelerate Merlin’s expansion into PCR for food contact applications. The deal will ensure that Nova has a reliable PCR supply to offer to its customers. Financial details were not disclosed.
“This partnership with Merlin and our forthcoming suite of PCR-containing resins will help meet our customer and brand owner needs and expand high-quality PCR supply for use in consumer packaging,” explained Luis Sierra, president and CEO of NOVA Chemicals.
The partnership marks Nova’s first foray into the world of PCR materials, but the company is by no means the only resin producer to venture into this market. With many of the world’s major consumer brands pledging to use an average of 25% recycled content in plastics packaging by 2025, resin producers around the world have sought to secure their supply of high-quality PCR, in order to be able to meet this demand.
Borealis, for example, was one of the earliest producer of virgin plastics to invest in recycling capacity, but has since been followed by a host of others, including Dow, Indorama, Sabic, BASF and many more.