Chemical Plastics Recycling

Commercial Volumes of Chemically Recycled Base Chemicals and Polyolefins Enabled

Borealis has signed an agreement with Renasci to acquire the entire chemically recycled feedstock output from its high-tech recycling centre in Oostende

Borealis has signed an agreement with Renasci to acquire the entire chemically recycled feedstock output from its high-tech recycling centre in Oostende, Belgium. With the projected 20kT output/year delivered to Borealis, this agreement will enable Borealis to become one of the leading global suppliers of chemically recycled base chemicals and polyolefins. 

As a complement to mechanical recycling, chemical recycling has an important role to play in closing the material loop on plastics circularity. This is because plastic waste streams of lower quality can be recycled chemically into high-quality material. In fact, products manufactured with chemically recycled feedstock, offer the same performance levels as products produced with fossil-based feedstock. This allows for the production of high-end polyolefin-based applications, including healthcare and food packaging materials subject to stringent quality and safety regulations that cannot always be met using mechanically recycled materials.

The waste feedstock processed at Renasci’s ISCC PLUS-certified recycling centre is derived from mainly dried household waste and some industrial waste. In a first step, the waste is sorted multiple times to extract the best value plastic material for mechanical recycling. The waste feedstock which cannot be mechanically recycled is then chemically recycled; this chemically-recycled feedstock will be subsequently processed in the Borealis steam crackers, initially at its production location in Porvoo, Finland. The Borealis Porvoo location’s recent ISCC PLUS certification – the global standard for certified recycled and bio-based materials – enables mass balance production of renewable and chemically recycled products.

“This agreement with Borealis will enable us to completely and truly close the circular loop on plastics,” comments Kristof Beuren, Renasci COO. “The challenge was to find an enclosing solution for this type of waste, and together we achieved it.”

“We accelerate action to plastics circularity through collaboration,” says Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins, Innovation & Technology and Circular Economy Solutions. “The cooperation with Renasci allows us to offer our customers and partners virgin-like polyolefins from chemically recycled post-consumer waste in material quantities effective this quarter.”