UK: Circular Economy Ineos and Viridor to Produce New Range of Hybrid Plastics

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Ineos aims to use recycled plastics from Viridor’s new 84 million dollar post-consumer polymers recycling plant to develop a new range of polymers. The deal will enable the creation of a new circular market for plastics.

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Ineos and Viridor’s partnership closes the loop with the new hybrid plastics range available across Europe.
Ineos and Viridor’s partnership closes the loop with the new hybrid plastics range available across Europe.
(Source: Ineos)

UK – Ineos will be supplied with recovered polymer from Viridor’s new 84 million dollar post-consumer polymers recycling plant at the Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre, near Bristol. The plant is the UK’s largest multi-polymer recycling and reprocessing facility. It is powered by Viridor’s 325 million energy recovery plant which puts non-recyclable waste to work to produce electricity and heat.

Ineos Olefins & Polymers CEO Rob Ingram said: “Plastic is a valuable resource so much so that we want to encourage the increasing collection and recycling of plastic materials after their initial use. Our commitment to take material from this project helps to support investment in a new, state-of-the-art recycling facility. Using our polymer expertise, we will engineer a new range of polymers to incorporate high levels of recycled plastics. These new materials will meet growing demand for increased levels of recycled content without compromise to product performance and quality.”

Viridor MD Phil Piddington said: “The partnership reflects Viridor’s emphasis on working with consumer brands and plastics companies to significantly contribute to the creation of a new circular market for plastics. He said Viridor’s 2019 Recycling Index, which tracks public attitudes to recycling, found that nine in 10 (89 %) of those polled believe that existing plastic should be used to create useful resources which that can be used again.

Piddington said: “Our index also demonstrates that future buying choices will be influenced by packaging made from recyclable material (65 % - up four points from 2018 - are more likely to buy products made from recyclable material) with 76 % saying there should be mandatory lessons on recycling in schools. The message from the public could not be clearer when it comes to recycling and putting recycled content back into the economy.

The UK Government, through the Resources & Waste Strategy and 2022 plastic tax, is helping to create a foundation for the investment which allows our sector to deliver sustainability targets. Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre demonstrates Viridor’s commitment to these goals.”

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Viridor Resource Management MD Keith Trower said, “Partnerships such as that with Ineos are crucial for the transition to a circular economy, where every product is comprised of a majority of recycled plastics. Viridor is putting environmental sustainability into practice and working together with companies such as Ineos to create plastics with a lower carbon footprint with no compromise on technical performance.”

Trower said: “This partnership brings together the expertise and investment that is vital to translate our common sustainability targets into practical reality in the marketplace. This win-win partnership creates an important pathway to the circular economy and tackles the two tough issues of reducing the level of waste generated in cities and the creation of high value materials that can be used in high value, tailored applications across many markets. I am confident that the initiative between Viridor and Ineos will become the new paradigm in polymer manufacturing.

“Sustainable quality, which is valued by an increasingly discerning public, is key. The UK public wants to understand the environmental providence of their packaging and products and this is something we are in a position to confidently offer the marketplace.”

Viridor is using the latest technologies to sort, clean and recycle the many post-consumer plastics to the highest standards achievable with recycled plastics. Ineos applies their deep material science expertise to boost and tailor the properties of the new hybrid polymers so that they perform in the same way that customers demand.

Ineos Olefins & Polymers Business Director Liz Rittweger added: “Building up to 50 % recycled content without losing the properties which our customers need is not a simple technical achievement. However, it is a very important milestone and demonstrates to the market that plastics can be successfully recycled and re-used in value applications.”

Since Q3 2019, Ineos has been able to offer a range of polyolefins which contain up to 50 % recycled content without sacrificing on performance.