PHILADELPHIA – Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas with a growing biopolymers portfolio, has announced a collaboration with Encina Development Group to pursue a long-term partnership in the production of circular, recycled polypropylene (PP).
In November, the Brazilian-headquartered petrochemicals giant committed to significantly expanding its efforts to eliminate plastic waste in the environment by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Texas-based Encina’s technology produces renewable chemicals made from post-consumer plastic and the company will break ground on a new facility in the second half of 2021. Once completed, the facility is targeted to process 175,000 tons of plastic waste, converting it into more than 90,000 tons of recycled chemicals per year. The plant is designed to expand to 350,000 tons of incoming plastic waste in future phases. Encina’s proprietary technology economically extracts chemicals from plastic through catalytic pyrolysis. The process utilizes mixed plastics from post-consumer sources which are currently costly to recycle and often destined for landfills.
As part of the collaboration, Braskem will work closely with Encina to develop the necessary logistics, product quality and certifications for a recycled propylene feedstock that Braskem will use in the production of recycled PP materials in applications such as food packaging and hygienic disposables.
“Encina’s technology and this important project will divert thousands of tons of hard-to-recycle plastic from landfills,” said Braskem America CEO Mark Nikolich. “As the North American leader in polypropylene, Braskem is actively looking to purchase sustainable propylene feedstock that will allow us to increase both recycled and renewable-sourced products in our portfolio – as stated in our new Circular Economy commitments. This agreement is an important step in our next phase of growth as a company, aimed at realising our vision of a carbon neutral circular economy and helping our clients meet their aggressive recycled content goals in the years to come.”
Braskem is meanwhile aiming to grow its I’m Green recycled products portfolio to sales of 300,000 tons by 2025 and one million tons by 2030. Earlier this year Braskem also became a founding member and funding partner of the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, an initiative of The Recycling Partnership with a focus on increasing US kerbside recycling access for PP and ensuring it is widely recovered and reused.