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LyondellBasell and AFA Nord form JV focused on recycling packaging materials

| By Mary Bailey

 LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and AFA Nord, a leading recycler of agricultural film, have agreed to create a 50:50 joint venture (JV) that intends to recycle post commercial flexible secondary packaging waste. The joint venture company, LMF Nord GmbH, plans to build a mechanical recycling plant in Northern Germany to turn Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) and Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) waste into quality recycled plastic materials for use in flexible packaging. Start of production is expected for early 2025.

Secondary plastic packaging, such as stretch or shrink film, is mainly used to hold packed consumer goods together and protect them during transportation and storage from contamination and damage. Until today, this material is difficult to recycle into high-quality raw materials that can meet the requirements of the packaging industry regarding strength and transparency of their final product. 

“This Joint Venture will provide recycled LDPE and LLDPE materials and complements our existing CirculenRecover range of high density polyethylene and polypropylene products,” says Yvonne van der Laan, LyondellBasell’s executive vice president, Circular and Low Carbon Solutions. “It adds to our efforts in advanced recycling and delivers against our integrated hub strategy, where we invest upstream to provide feedstock from various plastic waste streams. With this efficient full suite of solutions we continue to be the preferred partner of our customers.”

The new recycling unit is expected to produce 26,000 tons per year of recycled LDPE and LLDPE grades that LyondellBasell will market through its CirculenRecover family of products for use in various applications from stretch films to collation shrink films. The CirculenRecover product family comprises a wide range of mechanically recycled materials that are currently used in applications ranging from electrical appliances, to washing detergent bottles and suitcases.

TM Recycling GmbH, a sister company of AFA Nord, will be responsible to provide the feedstock for LMF Nord GmbH. TM Recycling is also a member of the Mensing Group.

“We already operate Germany’s only agricultural film recycling plant for a number of years and have a broad experience in the production of  recycled materials,” says Andreas Mensing, managing director of AFA Nord. “Together with LyondellBasell we can contribute to a circular economy and increase the availability of recycled solutions for flexible packaging applications.”