New contract opens for first circular economy loop within chemical recycling

787
Quantafuel plant in Denmark (Photo: Quantafuel)

A new cooperation paves the way for the first ever circular economy loop based on chemical recycling of waste plastics. Resource management company Geminor is now committing to deliver 20,000 tonnes of waste plastics to Quantafuel’s plant for chemically recycled feedstock for new plastic production.

An important milestone within plastic circular economy has been achieved as expert companies involved in supply and recycling of waste plastics, as well as production of plastic products, have come together to create the first ever chemical circular economy for waste plastics. In the first quarter of 2020, Norwegian company Quantafuel will open a plant in Skive in Denmark, transforming waste plastic into chemical feedstock for new plastic and a range of other chemicals.

German chemical company BASF recently entered a cooperation with Quantafuel, investing 20 million Euros with a view to secure and increase Quantafuel’s coming production. According to the agreement, Quantafuel will deliver chemically recycled feedstock from Skive to BASF’s production site in Ludwigshafen/Germany, where production of the first commercial volumes of plastic products based on this feedstock will take place.

Geminor to deliver plastic waste

By signing a contract with Quantafuel this week, resource management company Geminor completes the loop in the upcoming waste plastic circular economy. Geminor has committed to deliver 20,000 tonnes of selected, mixed and treated waste plastic annually to the plant in Skive, thereby securing a consistent production of high-quality recycled chemical feedstock for the market. This is plastic waste which would otherwise be incinerated. By allowing a much larger share of plastic waste to be recycled into new products, chemical recycling is predicted to significantly increase the recycling rate in Europe and reduce the carbon footprint worldwide.

CEO at Quantafuel, Kjetil Bøhn, comments on the cooperation: “Our goal is to establish a circular economy involving chemical recycling, and in order to achieve this we need a steady supply of plastic waste which suits our process and is unfit for mechanical recycling. As our main supplier in the years to come, Geminor will increase and secure our access to valuable plastic waste material from all over Scandinavia and Europe. With both BASF and Geminor on our team, the loop is complete. Together we will be able to collect plastic waste and deliver clean and sustainable products which replace products made from fossil resources. Chemical recycling is a much-needed supplement to mechanical recycling, and we hope that chemically recycled plastics will become a recognized standard in European plastic production.”

CEO at Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad, is excited to be contributing to a coming circular economy: “We have for some time been part of establishing a circular economy within waste wood, leading to the production of new and sustainable furniture. This already has made an impact on our carbon footprint all over Europe. Considering the enormous and still increasing amounts of waste plastic we find in Europe today, creating a circular economy involving chemical recycling has the potential of making plastic an equally sustainable product. Managing the supply of waste plastic for the production of new recycled plastic will be of high priority for us in the time to come. We now encourage the industry players to assist us in the effort to establish a circular economy within chemically recycled plastics in Denmark and Europe.”

Source: Geminor