Total and PureCycle Technologies have announced a strategic partnership in plastics recycling. Under the agreement, Total will purchase part of the output of PureCycle Technologies’ future facility in the United States, as well as assess the interest in developing a new plant together in Europe.
Developed by Procter & Gamble, the PureCycle Technologies process removes colour, odour and contaminants from plastic waste feedstock, transforming it into a virgin-like ultra-pure recycled polypropylene.
The physical purification process uses a non-toxic solvent to extract impurities and contaminants from recovered waste polypropylene. As the process does not involve depolymerisation, it requires far less energy than other chemical recycling approaches, such as those based on pyrolysis. It is also more energy-efficient compared to the production of virgin PP. The company, which will begin construction on its first plant in Ohio (U.S.A.) this year, will produce 48,000 tons of recycled polypropylene.
“The introduction of recycled polypropylene that can be used interchangeably with virgin resin will have an enormously beneficial impact on the global plastics circular economy. Total shares our passion to make this happen and we are very pleased to have them as a strategic partner,” said Mike Otworth, CEO of PureCycle Technologies.
It is not Total’s sole investment in the recycling area: previously, the company acquired Synova, a French producer of high-performance - mechanically - recycled polypropylene for the automotive industry, and it is also part of a group of companies that includes Citeo, Recycling Technologies, Nestlé and Mars, who are together seeking to develop technology for the chemical recycling of plastics in France.
However, this partnership constitutes an important new milestone for Total, said Valérie Goff, senior vice president, Polymers at Total. “This first partnership in the United States opens new perspectives for addressing the challenge of the circular economy and achieving our ambition of producing 30% recycled polymers by 2030”, she said.