Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. and Canadian recycling technology startup Loop Industries Inc. have joined forces to create a PET and polyester recycling venture to address growing demand for sustainable plastics.
The Thai chemicals giant announced 24 Sept that the joint venture would seek to manufacture and commercialize “100 percent sustainable and recycled PET resin and polyester fiber”, using Loop's depolymerization technology.
Speaking to PNE, an IVL spokesman confirmed that the 50:50 joint venture will be retrofitted to one of Indorama's existing plants in the U.S. East Coast.
“It is an existing PET plant with some extra capacity and we have decided to recycle there and then produce PET with the extra capacity,” explained the spokesman.
Loop's technology breaks down plastic molecules to basic monomers DMT and MEG which can then be put back together to produce PET.
The PET, according to the spokesman, has been FDA-approved for food contact standards and will be supplied to beverage and consumer packaged goods industries.
The production facility is set to begin commercial operation in the first quarter of 2020 and will be “fully subscribed” by leading global consumer brands, according to IVL.
IVL declined to comment on the financial details of the deal or production capacity.
The joint venture is Indorama's second major investment in PET recycling in less than two months.
The company announced late July that it had acquired French plastics recycler Sorepla Technologie SA, as part of its long-term sustainability objectives.
Sorepla is a leading plastics recycler in Europe with a capacity to produce 52,000 tonnes of recycled plastics per annum.
Indorama said at the time that the acquisition improved its position as a recycler in Europe, helping the company cater for the increasing demand for recycled PET.
IVL already has a strong recycling presence in France through its subsidiary, Wellman France Recyclage in Verdun.