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Plastic Energy and Axens partner with Qenos to develop Australia’s largest circular-plastics project

| By Mary Bailey

Plastic Energy (London, U.K.) and Axens (Rueil-Malmaison, France) are partnering with Qenos Pty Ltd. (Victoria, Austrlia) in the planning of a major circular plastics manufacturing capability in Australia. Plastic Energy and Axens announced last year their intent to jointly license advanced recycling technologies.

Plastic Energy, which specializes in advanced recycling of plastics using its Thermal Anaerobic Conversion (TAC) process and Axens, which has developed the leading edge Rewind Mix process will support the recently announced Qenos and Cleanaway joint feasibility study for the conversion of up to 100,000 tons of household soft plastic waste and mixed plastics back into Circular Polyethylene.

Circular plastics manufacturing using advanced recycling takes soft plastics and other hard-to-recycle plastic waste which currently goes to landfill, incineration or escapes into the environment and recycles this back into the same products. It is the next major phase in recycling, and is forecast to attract $680 billion of investment globally by 2050.

Circular Polyethylene has identical properties to virgin polyethylene and can be used in food contact and high-performance applications thereby supporting local packaging and food manufacturers to achieve the 2025 APCO National Packaging Targets.

Qenos CEO Stephen Bell, said that this important step in the development of the Qenos Circular Plastics Project (QCPP) was the result of an extensive assessment of suitable advanced recycling technologies and partners, supported in part by the Victorian Government. Qenos’ objective is to deliver a project of market leading scale which will meet customer expectations and deliver on recycled content targets by 2025.

The QCPP is the largest proposed circular plastics project in Australia, and is currently being considered for support under the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing initiative.

The joint feasibility study is expected to be completed by July 2022 and a final investment decision to be made later this year. Pending a successful outcome, the first of the advanced recycling facilities is expected to be operational by 2025. Fully commissioned, the QCPP would secure a leadership role for the Australian manufacturing chain in this emerging global sector.