Plastics company Loop Industries and waste management company Suez have announced plans to build “the world’s largest” polyethylene terephthalate (PET) enhanced recycling facility somewhere in Europe.
Loop says the first Infinite Loop recycling facility will have the potential to produce the equivalent of approximately 4.2 billion food grade beverage bottles.
The new facility will save up to 180,000 tons of CO2 annually when compared with virgin PET production from a traditional petrochemical process, the company claims.
Loop founder and CEO Daniel Solomita said: “Expansion of our technology across Europe has always been of high strategic importance for Loop and our customers.
“Infinite Loop technology creates the infrastructure countries need to be able to eliminate plastic waste”Daniel Solomita, Loop founder and CEO
“We are beyond excited to be working with the excellent team at Suez, who bring a complementary skillset to Loop’s team with their deep knowledge in resource management.
“Europe is leading the charge against petroleum-based plastics: through tougher regulations and taxes, they are setting a global example on transitioning to a more circular economy.
“The Infinite Loop technology creates the infrastructure countries need to be able to eliminate plastic waste and increase recycling rates.”
Loop says it hopes to complete the selection of a final site for the facility and engineering by mid-2021. Commissioning of the facility is currently projected for 2023.
The facility will directly increase recycling rates in the country in which it is built, Loop says.
Mechanical plastic recycling
The partnership will combine the resource management expertise of Suez and Loop’s unique technology, Loop says.
“We are thrilled to be part of this innovative project with Loop Industries”Jean-Marc Boursier, Suez Group COO
Jean-Marc Boursier, Suez Group COO, said: “Suez has been involved for more than 10 years in mechanical plastic recycling, while investing constantly in research and innovation.
“In 2019, we processed 450,000 tons of plastics across Europe and produced 150,000 tons of recycled plastics.
“Highly convinced by the complementarity between mechanical and chemical recycling solutions, we are thrilled to be part of this innovative project with Loop Industries as it will expand our offer and our solutions improving the economic and environmental performance of our industrial customers, but also contributing to a sustainable resource management.”
Suez has recently been subject to a takeover bid. French waste management giant Veolia announced on 30 August it had offered €2.9 billion to French utilities firm Engie for its 29.9% stake in Suez (see letsrecycle.com story).
Under proposals outlined in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, producers will pay more towards the cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out plans for a plastics tax in his March budget. The budget document explained the tax was to be introduced in April 2022 and set at £200 a tonne (see letsrecycle.com story). It will apply for plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic manufactured in or imported to the UK. This has seen some grades of recycled plastic commanding higher prices in recent months.