Plastic Pollution – Supply chain letter on the need for mass balance fuel-use exempt for chemical recycling 25-10-2023

Plastic Pollution

Crude Oil Prices Trend

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Crude Oil Prices Trend by Polyestertime

Stamicarbon (MAIRE Group) signs licensing and equipment supply contracts with Shandong Lianmeng Chemical Company for an Ultra-Low Energy grassroots urea plant in China

Shandong Lianmeng Chemical Company awards licensing and equipment supply contracts for a grassroots urea melt and prilling plant in China to Stamicarbon, the nitrogen technology licensor of MAIRE Group. The plant located in Shouguang city of Shandong province in China will use Stamicarbon’s Ultra-Low Energy design with a highly efficient pool reactor concept and have a capacity of 2334 MTPD.

Stamicarbon will provide the license, proprietary equipment, including high-pressure equipment made of super duplex stainless steel and associated services. This grassroots project will be the eighth urea plant worldwide to utilize Stamicarbon’s proprietary Ultra-Low Energy design.  Plastic Pollution

The Ultra-Low Energy Design allows heat supplied as high-pressure steam to be used three times instead of two, compared to the conventional CO2 stripping processes. This results in a 35% reduction in steam consumption and a 16% decrease in cooling water use. The efficiency of this design is proven with two operational plants, making its energy savings unparalleled in the market.

“We are thrilled to start this project in collaboration with Stamicarbon, a global leader in urea technology. We are looking forward to seeing the cutting-edge technology in action and are confident in the advantages it will bring,” said Mr. Wang Xinjian, the General manager of Shandong Lianmeng Group.

“We’re excited to launch a project using our Ultra-Low Energy design, which has shown itself to be the top choice for energy efficiency and sustainability in urea production. With this project, we are further expanding our footprint in China, aiming to address the region’s growing demand for urea,” said Pejman Djavdan, Stamicarbon CEO.


Plastic Pollution

In-house production facility in Romania steers Coca-Cola HBC towards 50% rPET goal in 2023

Coca-Cola HBC has opened a new in-house production facility in Romania to supply rPET for its 100% recycled bottle portfolio – apparently positioning the company to deliver almost 50% rPET use across its EU and Swiss markets by the end of the year.

The development follows an investment of €11 million, which includes €3.5 million of state aid, and is thought to make Romania the first market within the group to use 100% recycled bottles across its portfolio, an in-house PET production facility – and, from December, a deposit return scheme (DRS) to facilitate bottle and can collection for recycling.  Plastic Pollution

Other ventures into DRS are set to roll out in many of the company’s markets, with five currently active across the company’s markets and six more set to be added by the end of 2025. These systems are said to reach a typical collection rate of 90% for bottles and cans.

Coca-Cola HBC Romania is also described as the first beverage producer in the market to produce PET in-house and, of Coca-Cola HBC’s markets, marks the third rPET decontamination facility to begin operations.

It is reported that 22% of the PET used across Coca-Cola HBC’s EU and Swiss markets in 2022 was recycled. A combination of its progress in Romania and the transition into recycled bottle portfolios in its Swiss, Austrian, Italian, Irish, and Northern Irish markets, the company claims that it is on its was to utilizing 50% rPET by the end of 2023, ahead of its 2025 deadline.  Plastic Pollution

With packaging constituting around a third of Coca-Cola HBC’s carbon footprint, the company is foregrounding its efforts to achieve net zero emissions across its whole value chain by 2040. Food-grade rPET bottles have an 80% lower carbon footprint than virgin PET resin, the company claims, and all electricity used on its production line is said to come from 100% renewable sources.

Additionally, it claims to have reduced 30% of emissions across its entire supply chain since 2010 and invested €377 million into its sustainability initiatives.

“I’m very proud of the progress we are seeing in our sustainability agenda and our mission to create a world without waste,” said CEO Zoran Bogdanovic. “At Coca-Cola HBC, our purpose is to ‘Open Up Moments that Refresh us All’ and this means that, beyond the functional refreshment that we provide, we strive to refresh our communities and the environment through the work that we do.

“We are working to produce and deliver our drinks in more sustainable ways and in packaging that has a life beyond its initial use – and Romania is a great example of how we can work collaboratively with our stakeholders and the wider industry to create a circular economy for packaging.”  Plastic Pollution

Coca-Cola Philippines recently rolled out its own line of 100% rPET bottles – including caps and labels – for its Coca-Cola Original and Wilkins Pure brands. A new sustainable packaging platform is accompanying their release, seeking to increase consumer education in the fight against plastic waste.


Plastic Pollution

Global Plastics Summit Puts Forth Radical Proposals to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Article-Global Plastics Summit Puts Forth Radical Proposals to Reduce Plastic Pollution

The Global Rules Scenario would lead to production of just 301 million tonnes of virgin plastics by 2040 compared with current projections of 712 million tonnes

Amid what’s described as an “escalating global plastic pollution crisis,” key stakeholders from across the plastics space, headed by NGOs, policymakers, and the scientific community, have unveiled their recommendations to guide UN negotiations on establishing an international, legally binding treaty to combat plastic pollution. Plastic Pollution

Delegates at the inaugural Global Plastics Summit in Bangkok, albeit with sparse participation from plastics producers themselves, proposed a raft of solutions to plug gaps in a draft of a Global Plastics Treaty to ensure it is robust enough to tackle the plastics crisis. The summit, organized by Economist Impact, is the largest and most significant assembly of stakeholders ahead of the third round of negotiations on the UN Plastics Treaty (Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee INC-3), scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from Nov. 13 to 19, 2023.

Slashing virgin resin production by 2040

Among the more ambitious — some might say radical — proposals to minimize plastic waste detailed at the summit included calls to significantly reduce production of virgin polymers. One such strategy was highlighted in a presentation by Felix Cornehl, manager of Systemiq. The firm describes itself as a system change company whose objective is to help design and build a better [sustainable] economy. Plastic Pollution

Under its Global Rules Scenario, Systemiq proposes that global production of virgin plastics be slashed by 30% by 2040 compared with the 2019 production level through a process of reduction and elimination, including increased usage of recycled materials.

The Global Rules Scenario would reduce the annual volume of virgin plastic production and consumption by applying targets, fees and demand reduction policies; eliminating avoidable single-use plastics in certain applications; mandating substitution where alternative materials would yield better impacts; and expanding safe reuse, recycling, durability, and repair.

Systemiq’s proposal does emphasize that alternative materials should only be mandated when their environmental outcomes are more favorable than those of the material being replaced. One potential barrier here is that, in numerous cases, plastics have been proven to be the most environmentally friendly option available, provided they are disposed of correctly or recycled. Plastic Pollution

Hefty EPR fees on the table

The company’s proposal also encompasses extended producer responsibility (EPR), with fees modeled depending on product and region, but ranging from $300 per tonne starting in 2025 and increasing gradually to $1,000 per tonne by 2040.

The Global Rules Scenario does not consider substitution of current plastics with bio-based, biodegradable, or compostable plastics (except for some specific applications in agriculture). “Uncertainty remains as to the role of these solutions in the future and caution is required based on the available evidence,” says Systemiq.

The end result of the Global Rules Scenario would lead to production of just 301 million tonnes of virgin plastics in 2040 versus 430 million tonnes in 2019, compared with 712 million tonnes in 2040 in a business-as-usual scenario. If realized, this would have a devastating effect on many plastics producers and converters who fail to adapt to the new normal. Plastic Pollution


Plastic Pollution

Supply chain letter on the need for mass balance fuel-use exempt for chemical recycling

The undersigned, representing 20 associations in the plastics supply chain, call on EU Member States to urgently adopt mass balance fuel-use exempt as the EU harmonised mass balance method for allocating recycled content via chemical recycling.

An early warning report to Member States from June 2023 states that 19 countries are at high risk of not achieving their plastic packaging recycling targets*. Currently, the EU plastics recycling rate is 38% (Eurostat, 2022) while the target for 2025 is 50%. Recycling efforts across the EU need to be urgently ramped up with a critical need for more investment in recycling and collection infrastructure. Plastic Pollution

While mechanical and other physical recycling technologies will continue to expand and innovate, there is also a unique opportunity for chemical recycling to complement existing efforts to help achieve recycling targets and increase the volume of recycled content. Mandatory recycled content targets for packaging and automotive are currently being discussed at EU level.

Chemically recycled feedstocks are typically blended with virgin feedstocks and the two different feedstocks cannot be physically separated once they are co-fed into the complex large-scale installations. Therefore, a mass balance chain of custody is required to accurately calculate and verify the amount of recycled content allocated to products. Chemical recycling allows the use of plastic waste, especially feedstock not suitable for mechanical recycling, to produce new chemicals, including plastics. Recent academic research shows that mechanical, other physical and chemical recycling are complementary as these address different types of feedstocks**.  Plastic Pollution

As recognised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), chemical recycling is currently undergoing rapid technological developments***. When comparing the environmental performance of chemical recycling to incineration with energy recovery, chemical recycling already achieves significant greenhouse gas emission savings, and these are set to increase as the EU electricity grid gradually decarbonises.

Mass balance fuel-use exempt is crucial to incentivize the rapid scale-up of chemical recycling. An estimated 8-billion-euro investment is in the pipeline by 2030 that would produce 2.8Mt recycled plastics via chemical recycling across the different EU Member States****. However, these planned investments will not be achieved if the regulatory framework does not allow for a mass balance method that incentivizes scale-up.

The mass balance fuel-use exempt approach is in line with the EU recycling definition in the Waste Framework Directive and we endorse this to be accompanied by stringent third-party certification and auditing systems to ensure the traceability of recycled content throughout the supply chain. Plastic Pollution

Chemical recyclers are already using third party certification systems with mass balance allocation to ensure full chain of custody traceability for the products commercialised on the market. Other methods such as polymer only and proportional allocation will significantly increase the costs and the required chemical recycling capacity needed to achieve the recycled content targets in packaging and other sectors.


Supply chain letter on the need for mass balance fuel-use exempt for chemical recycling

Plastics Recyclers Europe warns against priority access to recycled PET

The organisation said the provision, if implemented, would promote monopolistic control of recycled polymers and go against free-market principles

Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE), the European Waste Management Association (FEAD), and EuRIC, a confederation representing the interests of the European recycling industries, have objected to the introduction of the “right of first refusal” in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal (PPWR) legislation.  Plastic Pollution

“Right of first refusal” would give priority access to recycled plastics, including recycled PET, to companies in the packaging industry. In September 2022, Unesda, the pan-European association representing Europe’s soft drink industry, proposed introducing the measure in the upcoming revision of the PPWR. At the time, the association said recycled PET was becoming ‘almost as rare and expensive as white truffles or gold’ in the EU, with demand purportedly significantly exceeding supply.

Beverage companies, particularly small to medium-sized enterprises, expressed concerns of not being able to meet the obligations arising from the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, as many cannot the very high prices of recycled material. They argued that right of first refusal would give every producer, from large to small, the option to buy the recycled material issued from the recyclable packaging it put on the EU market – after adjustment for collection and recycling rates.  Plastic Pollution

This would arguably put all beverage producers, including SMEs, in a position to meet their mandatory recycled content targets, considerably reduce the downcycling of PET bottles by promoting bottle-to-bottle recycling, and incentivise all sectors, including those outside the beverage industry, to invest in the recyclability and collection of their products.

However, recycling organisations argued in an Oct. 23 statement that the risk of PET bottle downcycling is a ‘myth’ that ‘could ruin European efforts toward packaging circularity’. PRE, EuRIC, and FEAD warned that the provision, if implemented, would be detrimental to the development of recycling capacity in Europe, promoting monopolistic control of recycled polymers, and going against free-market principles.


Plastics Recyclers Europe warns against priority access to recycled PET

One Eq­uity Part­ners Agrees to Sell Walki to Japan’s Oji Group

Firm Supported Walki’s Sustainability Initiatives Over Five Years of Ownership

One Equity Partners (“OEP”) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Walki Holding Oy (“Walki” or the “Company”), a pan-European supplier of sustainable and high-performing packaging and engineered materials solutions, to Oji Holdings Corporation (“Oji Group”), a Japanese paper products technology company.

Founded in 1930 and headquartered in Espoo, Finland, Walki is a specialty packaging materials manufacturer, offering consumer and industrial packaging for food and specialty consumer products, as well as engineered materials, such as insulation and fire-retardant facings, sustainable membranes, and protective clothing applications.

The Company has 17 production facilities worldwide and employs more than 1,700 people. OEP’s acquisition of Walki closed in July 2018.  Plastic Pollution

“We are humbled by Walki’s performance under our ownership and were pleased to help the business execute on a transformative business expansion strategy with sustainability at its core,” said Marc Lindhorst, Managing Director, One Equity Partners. “We collaborated with management to drive transformative growth opportunities in the packaging and engineered materials end markets while supporting the development of manufacturing methods with reduced adverse environmental effects.”

During OEP’s ownership, Walki saw revenue growth of 125% and made significant investments in long-term environmental sustainability. Investments included the development of alternative materials and production methods to give customers the flexibility to choose the most appropriate packaging solution to mitigate environmental impact.  Plastic Pollution

Walki completed seven acquisitions over OEP’s hold period, including that of Plasbel Plásticos in 2021, to leverage its expertise in producing recycled and compostable packaging and support significant expansion of the Valkeakoski facility in Finland.

“One Equity Partners was a first-rate partner to our business over the last five years,” said Leif Frilund, President and CEO of Walki. “OEP’s expertise in specialty manufacturing businesses like ours helped us to execute our sustainability strategy while continuing to grow the business.

With their support, we have proven that consistent corporate growth and business development do not have to be mutually exclusive.”  Plastic Pollution

One Eq­uity Part­ners Agrees to Sell Walki to Japan’s Oji Group

Danimer Scientific, BIOLO and Bolthouse Farms Announce Commercialization of Home Compostable Packaging for Fresh Produce with Meijer Stores

Danimer Scientific, Inc. (“Danimer” or the “Company”), a leading next-generation bioplastics company focused on the development and production of biodegradable materials, today announced the commercialization of home compostable retail packaging for vegetables and fruit, which Danimer developed in partnership with biodegradable packaging and food service product manufacturer BIOLO and carrot producer Bolthouse Farms.  Plastic Pollution

Danimer’s signature PHA, Nodax®, was used to create the bags for one-pound Earthbound Farm Organic Mini Peeled Carrots, now available in Meijer’s regional network of 240 grocery stores and supercenters in six states across the Midwest.

Stephen Croskrey, CEO of Danimer Scientific, said, “As demand continues to rise for environmentally superior alternatives to petroleum plastics, we’re excited that Meijer will offer home compostable packaging solutions that make possible the safe, efficient, low-cost and stable delivery of fresh foods, providing consumers with a more responsible way to enjoy the products they love. We’re grateful for the partnership of BIOLO, Bolthouse Farms and Meijer in bringing this product to market, which we believe will lead to other foods shifting to PHA-based packaging.”  Plastic Pollution

Danimer’s Nodax® is a biobased polyester made with oils derived from the seeds of plants such as canola. Unlike traditional plastic, which can take centuries to degrade, Danimer’s PHA-based products can degrade in a matter of months under certain conditions.

The Earthbound Farm Organic Mini Peeled Carrots bags are certified as home compostable by TUV, a globally recognized leader in independent product testing, inspection and certification. This certification means that the bags have passed rigorous testing that requires them to disintegrate at least 90% within 26 weeks and biodegrade within 52 weeks under home compost conditions.  Plastic Pollution


Danimer Scientific, BIOLO and Bolthouse Farms Announce Commercialization of Home Compostable Packaging for Fresh Produce with Meijer Stores

Unrecyclable plastics – The Complex Reality of Plastic Recycling: Beyond the Hype 24-10-2023

Plastic Pollution

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