Suez unveils Dutch plastics recovery facility

Resource management firm Suez and multinational plastics and chemicals company, LyondellBasell, have joined forces to recycle plastics at a specialised facility near Maastricht, Holland.

The technology at the facility, which recycles HDPE and PP into “virgin-like” secondary raw materials, is being used as a platform for growth, the companies said.

The QCP plastics plant, sited near Maastricht, was commissioned in 2016

However, speaking to letsrecycle.com, Jean-Marc Boursier, Suez senior executive vice president for finance, recycling & recovery, Norther Europe, suggested the quality of materials collected in the UK would need to improve before the company would consider opening a similar facility there.

He said materials from Holland and Germany are “undoubtedly better quality,” and referred to the popularity of commingled systems for recycling in the UK.

Joint venture

The two companies recently announced a 50/50 joint venture in the QCP (Quality Circular Polymers) facility, which was commissioned in 2016.

The QCP is Suez’ first facility dedicated to HDPE and PP recycling. It is designed to meet the “growing demand” for circular plastics by brand owners and the European plastics industry, the companies said.

The facility receives waste plastics from municipal contracts in the Netherlands – where most plastics are collected separately to other materials.

It has capacity to convert consumer waste into 25,000 tonnes of polypropylene (PP) and high‐density polyethylene (HDPE) with an objective of 35,000 tonnes in 2018 and 100,000 tonnes by 2020. It produces two grades of HDPE and eight grades of PP copolymer in the form of pellets.

Plastics are delivered in bales to the facility where they are processed by Linder shredders, washed intensively and processed into uniform granules. It produces both white and grey granules which can be used for various applications such as crates & boxes, bottles & cans, automotive parts, in packaging, buildings, cars, and electronics.

Plastics

On 28 May, the European Commission proposed a ban on single-use plastics products. Among other measures proposed, member states will have to reduce significantly the consumption of plastic containers, the companies said.

In line with the official measures, LyondellBasell and Suez said they are marking their commitment to giving plastics a second life.

LyondellBasell brings its plastic production technologies and experience in developing products for the consumer market to the partnership.

“As the circular economy continues to grow, we believe that demand for recycled materials will grow as well,” said Richard Roudiex, senior vice president of Olefins and Polyolefins, Europe. “This partnership positions LyondellBasell to actively participate in the circular economy, marrying its European market presence and technical capabilities with Suez’s ability to reclaim and manage recoverable waste products.”

“In Europe, only 7% of the 50 million annual tonnage used is recycled polymer, and 93% is still virgin materials coming from fossil fuels,” said Suez’ Mr Boursier. “Together with LyondellBasell, we aim to speed up the use of circular polymers and industrial manufacturers to reach their environmental targets.”

Demand

“Together with LyondellBasell, we aim to speed up the use of circular polymers and industrial manufacturers to reach their environmental targets.”


Jean-Marc Boursier
Suez

To help create demand for recycled material in Europe, Suez is calling for a range of measures to be explored, including introduction of a minimum content for recycled plastic in certain products, and offering incentives to ease comparison with virgin materials.

Suez has nine facilities in Europe dedicated to plastic. The company said it processes over 400,000 tonnes each year, and producing 150,000 tonnes of recycled polymers.

LynondellBasell

LyondellBasell, formed 10 years ago, reports to be one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. The company said it produces materials and products to meet modern challenges such as enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging.

The company, which has its headquarters in the Netherlands, claims to be the largest licensor of polyolefin and polypropylene technologies in the world.

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