On January 15th Braskem Netherlands B.V. (“Braskem”) and Shell Chemicals Europe B.V. (“Shell”) signed an agreement to produce circular polypropylene from mixed plastic waste. With this agreement, Shell will upgrade a variety of pyrolysis oils into virgin-quality circular feedstocks at the Shell Chemicals Park Moerdijk, Netherlands. Braskem will then convert this feedstock into circular polypropylene in its plant in Wesseling, Germany.
Chemical recycling, a complementary process to traditional mechanical recycling, converts plastic waste that is unfit for mechanical recycling into virgin quality raw materials for the production of new plastics. The first step of this process is turning plastic waste into pyrolysis oil, a valuable alternative to virgin fossil feedstock for the chemicals industry. Pyrolysis oil, through conventional chemical processing, is converted into propylene and ethylene, that in turn can be processed further into new, virgin-quality circular plastics.
This pioneering and strategic agreement with Shell is aligned with Braskem’s ambition to increase the share of sustainable feedstock in its portfolio. The circular polypropylene will be commercialized under the brand Wenew, a platform of innovative actions that represent and consolidate Braskem’s efforts to achieve a circular economy. It will significantly contribute to Braskem’s sustainability commitments to reduce plastic waste, as well as furthering the company’s growth strategy. By 2030, Braskem has the ambition to achieve 1 million tons of products with recycled material and recover 1.5 million tons of plastic from the environment.
“Adopting initiatives that include plastic waste recovery, mechanical, and chemical recycling in our production processes is connected to our company’s purpose to provide a more circular and sustainable future, on top of the leading position Braskem has in biopolymers globally. This agreement represents an important step to combine Shell’s technology and infrastructure with Braskem’s polymer expertise and market knowledge towards more sustainable and scalable solutions”, Walmir Soller, VP of Olefins and Polyolefins at Braskem Europe & Asia.
Daniëlle Ebentreich, Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer at Shell Chemicals states “This agreement emphasizes our commitment to addressing challenging environmental issues, like plastic waste and hard-to-recycle plastics. By using our investments in innovative, sustainable projects at Shell’s strategically positioned Energy and Chemical Parks we are able to play a key role, together with our partners throughout the value chain, in unlocking sustainable solutions for our customers and society”.
Braskem is working closely with its partners to launch circular polypropylene products for specific market applications, such as packaging and automotive.
With a global vision of the future, guided by people and sustainability, Braskem is engaged in contributing to the value chain to strengthen the Circular Economy. The petrochemical producer’s almost 9,000 team members are dedicated every day to improving people’s lives through sustainable solutions in chemistry and plastics. With its corporate DNA rooted in innovation, Braskem offers a complete portfolio of plastic resins and chemical products for various industries, such as food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, health and hygiene, and more. With 40 industrial units in Brazil, United States, Mexico, and Germany, Braskem exports its products to clients in over 70 countries.
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