Turning disposable plastic into something valuable? We love to do that at INEOS. A story that begins in our research center in Neder-over-Heembeek, then continues in Antwerp, and extends to the supermarket shelves.
Breakthrough in mechanical recycling
Giving used plastic that goes in the PMD sack a new life? That’s quite possible via mechanical recycling. Which processes plastic waste into new raw material. To make new plastic packaging, for example.
Drawback: there’s a loss of quality. Because the used plastic is a mixture of different products and has already been processed. And, of course, you don’t want packaging made from recycled plastic to leak – not in the supermarket rack, during transport, or in the cupboard at home.
The bonus of the booster product
We came up with a solution in our research center in Neder-Over-Heembeek.
R&D Manager Martine Cornette: “We’ve developed a booster polymer with very good properties that compensate for the recycled material’s loss of quality.”
By combining the booster polymer with 50% recycled material, a new range of polymers was created: our Recycl-IN series (the booster polymer is made of polyethylene granules, for which Project ONE will supply the raw material ethylene).
As good as new
The hybrid granule (50% new and 50% recycled material) is as strong and high-quality as new plastic. This is very important for our customers (packaging producers), for the brands, and ultimately, of course, for the end-customers.
So, with Recycl-IN, we’re meeting 2 demands: the demand for more recycled packaging, and the demand for high-quality plastic.
Trial run in Lillo
The booster product is made in our production unit in Lillo (Antwerp). Our plant in Norway is already producing Recycl-IN on an industrial scale. But we’re in the midst of a trial run to be able to produce in Lillo as well in the course of this year.
In the supermarket
Recycl-IN is intended for non-food packaging: caps and bottles for detergent, for example.
The first results of Recycl-IN with Lillo’s booster product? They’re already in supermarkets in Germany, where a well-known brand is selling detergent in plastic bottles based on Recycl-IN.
That’s how sustainable chemistry can be
With Recycl-IN, we’re taking an important step in tackling plastic waste. It’s in line with our goal to supply a range of polyolefins in Europe that contain 50% or more recycled material. In this way, we’re helping to close the chain and evolve towards a circular economy.
“With Recycl-IN, we’re taking an important step in tackling plastic waste.”