The German compliance scheme operator Landbell and the chemical group Sabic announced in late October that they had signed a long-term chemical recycling partnership agreement "to further combine the specific expertise of each partner to drive toward more close loops systems for plastic packaging".
The new cooperation builds upon the success of an earlier project with candy-maker Mars, in which Landbell collected mixed plastic waste and used it to make certified polypropylene (PP) as part of Sabic’s Trucircle portfolio. Sabic and Landbell aim to now "to further develop innovative processes to increase feedstock streams, technology and know-how to scale-up advanced recycling operations."
The partners want to encourage other brand owners or plastic and packaging converters to incorporate circular solutions from advanced recycled post-consumer plastic packaging into their product applications. "Once a downstream value chain partner is also involved in this new model, the collaboration aims to show that closed loop projects have the potential to capture the value and bring back used plastic into new material streams."
Landbell's role in the cooperation is to supply mixed plastic packaging waste from Germany's yellow bag/bin collections which will serve as feedstock material. A specialised pre-treatment plant operated by A. Siemer Entsorgung will prepare mixed plastic waste for advanced recycling using additional sorting and cleaning processes.
In an announcement made this past summer, it was explained that Siemer has established the processing plant in a former packaging waste sorting plant in Vechta, Lower Saxony. The facility, which has a capacity to process 25,000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste per year, is capable of removing dirt, foreign matter and impurities from the remaining plastic fractions and to prepare it for chemical recycling.
After processing, the plastic packaging waste will be delivered to the Sabic Plastic Energy Advanced Recycling Unit, which is currently nearing completion, where it will be used in place of fossil-based raw materials to make Sabic’s high-quality certified polymers for food-contact packaging and other high-end applications.