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Comment Sustainability

Braskem and Encina partner to advance circular polypropylene technologies

By Mary Page Bailey |

Braskem S.A. (Philadelphia, Pa.) announced its collaboration with Encina Development Group, a leading provider of solutions to produce renewable chemicals, to develop a long-term relationship enabling the production of circular, recycled polypropylene (PP).

Encina’s technology is able to produce renewable chemicals made from post-consumer plastic and the company is targeting to 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 will be designed to expand to 350,000 tons of incoming plastic waste in future phases.  Encina’s new facility will leverage its proprietary technology that 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, consumer and hygiene products. The parties announce today their intent to develop a formal supply agreement prior to the project’s financing approval in 2021.

Mark Nikolich, Braskem America CEO, states, “Encina’s technology and this important project will divert thousands of tons of hard-to-recycle plastic from landfills. 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 realizing our vision of a carbon neutral circular economy and helping our clients meet their aggressive recycled content goals in the years to come.”

“We are very pleased to be working towards implementing our circular solution that directly addresses the global challenges of plastic waste we all see,” said David Schwedel, Executive Director, Encina. “Braskem is a market leader and deeply committed to sustainability, and we are thrilled to be working with their sustainability team to make a significant change in the end-of-life for plastics.”

Braskem is strongly committed to a world where nothing is wasted and everything is transformed. Recently, Braskem announced its new commitment to a Carbon Neutral Circular Economy, with clearly stated targets for growing their I’m green™ recycled products portfolio to sales of 300,000 tons by 2025 and 1 million tons by 2030.  Also, earlier this year Braskem became a founding member and funding partner of the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, an initiative of The Recycling Partnership with a focus on increasing U.S. curbside recycling access for polypropylene and ensuring PP is widely recovered and reused. Braskem is also a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. 

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