The aim of the development project is to proceed to industrial scale trial during 2019. The company’s target is to process annually more than one million tons of waste plastic by 2030.
“With our strong legacy in raw material and pretreatment research, we are in a unique position to introduce waste plastics as a new raw material for fossil refining. At the same time, we aim to provide solutions to support global plastic waste reduction,” says Matti Lehmus, Executive Vice President of Neste’s Oil Products business area.
Neste has been ranked the world’s second most sustainable company and is already the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel from waste and residues. The company aims to also be a leader in low-carbon refining and support circular economy by developing innovative solutions based on waste plastic.
In January 2018, the European Union released its Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. One of its objectives is to increase recycling of plastics and reuse 55% of all plastic packaging by 2030.
“In order to reach the ambitious EU plastics recycling targets, both chemical and mechanical recycling need to be recognized in the EU regulation,” Matti Lehmus says.; Chemical recycling can create new outlets for plastic waste by enabling high end product qualities, thereby complementing traditional mechanical recycling.
To accelerate development, Neste is looking for partners across the value chain, for example in waste management and upgrading technologies.
In addition to exploring ways to utilize plastic waste as raw material, Neste is helping the plastics industry and various plastics-consuming companies to reduce their crude oil dependency and climate emissions by producing durable and recyclable renewable plastics from bio-based raw materials, such as waste fats and oils. As an example, Neste and IKEA will produce polypropylene (PP) plastic from fossil-free, bio-based raw materials at commercial scale during fall 2018. This will mark the first time in the world that bio-based PP is produced at a commercial scale.