SABIC to boldly go in search for circularity

This year will see SABIC forge bold, new collaborations with high-calibre partners in order to create a circular, transparent and sustainable economy for plastics, said its circular economy leader Mark Vester at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE initiative has seen the company partner with the likes of Unilever and Tupperware Brands to bring to market circular packaging solutions, while it is also working with UK-based Plastic Energy to enable the recycling of plastics waste that has historically been classified as non-recyclable.

TRUCIRCLE was launched in 2019 and is a complete portfolio of solutions that span design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular products from feedstock recycling of plastics waste streams and certified renewables products from bio-based feedstock.

A new facility in the Netherlands is set to increase SABIC’s production of pyrolysis oil from plastics waste by 2021. Certified circular polymers will be produced at the Geleen site from a feedstock known as Tacoil – a patented product from UK-based Plastic Energy Ltd – from the recycling of low quality, mixed plastics waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill.

With new agreements established recently, Danish company, Haldor Topsøe, will provide license and basic engineering for a novel hydrotreating solution, and Renewi, a leading waste to product company, will build a dedicated formulation line that will supply feedstock from mixed plastics waste for the pyrolysis process.

The output from the site will initially provide materials for SABIC’s downstream collaborators but the long term intention is to rapidly scale up the supply of its certified circular polymers for all global customers.

SABIC’s commitment to using more plastic waste as feedstock for its circular polymers runs parallel to its 2020 ambition to increase the uptake of recycled plastics from mechanical recycling. SABIC is keen to increase the amount of plastics it processes in Europe to 200,000 tonnes by 2025, in line with its pledge to the EU Commission.