The newest member of the Circular Plastics Alliance is Versalis, the chemicals arm of Italian energy company Eni.
The Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA)is an initiative under the 2018 European Strategy for Plastics, which calls on stakeholders in the plastics industry to actively contribute to achieving the ambitious European target of using 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic in new products by 2025. Signatories sign a declaration pledging among other things to increase the uptake of recycled plastics in all plastic products, whilst ensuring product quality and safety.
The aim of the Alliance, promoted by the European Commission, with numerous member companies and associations across the value chain, is to boost plastic recycling in Europe and at the same time develop the market for secondary raw materials.
Versalis has formulated a circular economy strategy that is defined by three main pillars: eco-design, recycling technologies and alternative feedstocks. To achieve this, the company will adopt a more ecological approach to packaging design and has committed to using up to 50% recycled material in at least half of its packaging, both for transporting products on pallets and in containers. Regarding Versalis' ambitions in respect of recycling and feedstock diversification, Versalis has committed to increasing the production capacity of Versalis Revive, its new line of polyethylene and polystyrene compounds containing up to 70% of mechanically recycled plastic.
The company is also researching a new chemical recycling technology for mixed waste plastics that are currently not able to be recycled. The aim is to produce new polymers with virgin-like properties, 'identical to those originating from fossil sources and suitable for all applications... including food packaging'. To that end, Versalis signed a joint development agreement with Italian engineering company, Servizi di Ricerche e Sviluppo (S.R.S.), in February, to further develop that company's pyrolysis technology.
This 'Hoop' project will see the construction of a first plant with a capacity of 6,000 tonnes per year at the company's Mantova production site.
Certified life cycle analyses will be carried out to validate these initiatives as well as to raise the awareness of its employees of the importance of the responsible use of plastics in daily activities, the company said.