Chemical companies and researchers collaborate to tackle plastic waste

19 May 2023 | Muriel Cozier

‘This unique co-creation […] will result in disruptive technology solutions to allow increased levels of circular plastics with a lower environmental footprint.’

Leading global chemical companies, along with a research organisation, are collaborating to host a hub that will focus on ‘making significant strides towards more sustainable plastic waste processing.’ The hub will also work to address industry-specific topics related to the development of mechanical and chemical recycling routes.

The partners in the project: BASF, Covestro, Dow, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical, Sabic and Solvay, have signed an agreement with TNO, a Dutch independent research organisation, who will host the hub and carry out the research and development projects. The first projects of the collaboration will begin during the second half of this year.

The chemical company partners are all members of the Low-Carbon Emitting Technologies (LCET) initiative, which is convened by the World Economic Forum. The LCET initiative is focused on achieving net-zero and a greater circularity. ‘This unique co-creation between the LCET members, our experts and innovation partners will result in practical and disruptive technology solutions to allow increased levels of circular plastics with a lower environmental footprint,’ said Henk-Jan Vink, Managing Director at TNO.

Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, CEO of Sabic and LCET Co-Chair added: ‘With the launch of this first project, the LCET has demonstrated its role as an ‘incubator’ for collaborative action to accelerate greenhouse gas reduction in the chemical production value chain.’

Earlier this year leading players from the UK’s foundation industries joined forces in the Flue2Chem project, where they are looking at ways to take industrial waste gases and use it as a base to create feedstock for sustainable materials for consumer products. The project, led by SCI and Unilever, includes BASF, Tata Steel and the University of Sheffield.

Alternatives to plastics are the focus of ongoing research. Find out how seaweed is emerging as a useful alternative to many single-use plastics in SCI's free online SCItalk given by Tristan Kaye, Commercial Director at Notpla, on the 28 June.

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