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Comment Sustainability

Avient opens plastics-recycling innovation center in Italy

By Mary Page Bailey |

Avient Corp. (Cleveland, Ohio; formerly PolyOne) has officially opened its new CycleWorks facility in Pogliano, Italy. The new lab and plant will conduct cutting edge chemistry testing and evaluations to help customers tackle and overcome the challenge of plastics recycling and the goal of a circular economy. The demonstration plant mimics real world recycling in a research environment. 

“We have established CycleWorks to study and meet the challenges of plastic recycling while furthering its viability. This high-tech facility will allow our dedicated team to understand the chemistry of polymers in the mechanical recycling process, and to see how and where problems occur. For example, why and where are polymer chains degrading? What role do color and additives play in recyclability? It is our goal to find answers to these questions and to understand the science behind recycling,” said Dr. Jan Sültemeyer, global head of innovation & sustainability at Avient. 

CycleWorks has already started producing useful data. Avient will use this data to develop new and unique masterbatch formulations with proven science behind how they perform during recycling processes, offering customers a portfolio that’s essentially field-tested for recycling. Avient expects to introduce solutions throughout 2021 as new data is generated.

Walter Ripple, vice president of sustainability at Avient, said, “As one of the founding members of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, Avient is committed to doing our part in advancing a circular economy through partnerships and innovation. CycleWorks further strengthens our recycling focus and ability to enable our partners’ recyclability goals.”    

To facilitate industry partnerships, CycleWorks includes a collaboration platform to ensure input from across the plastics value chain. Avient expects this to improve the ability of new technologies to be implemented in recycling processes and to assist brand owners in raising the sustainability of their products. 

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