Total acquires French polypropylene recycler Synova

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French energy and chemicals supplier Total SA announced Feb. 19 that it has acquired plastics recycling company Synova SAS. Financial details about the transaction were not released.

Synova produces 20,000 tonnes per year of high-performance recycled PP that deliver the same performance as virgin polymers for original equipment manufacturers and automakers, according to the companies.

The acquisition of Synova, said Bernard Pinatel, president of refining & chemicals at Total, is proof of Total’s commitment to developing plastic recycling and contributes to Total’s ambition to be the responsible energy major; in other words, to provide energy that is affordable, reliable and clean.

 “By contributing to the lighter weight of vehicles, plastics improve their energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Producing them from recycled materials will also meet the challenge of managing their end of life,” Pinatel said.

Another aspect of the end of life of plastics is waste, in particular waste that ends up in the environment. Total is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a group of some 30 companies from across the plastics and consumer goods value chain committed to ending plastic waste pollution, particularly in the oceans.

However, waste streams containing plastics have also long been recognized by Total as representing an opportunity to further reduce the carbon footprint of the polymers it produces. The company has developed solutions using renewable bio-sourced and recycled feedstocks.

Examples include Total’s Circular Compounds, a range of PP and polyethylene compounds consisting of at least 50 percent recycled content and offering the same or better properties as virgin polymers; and a project in which, together with partners Citeo, Saint-Gobain and Syndifrais the company is working to establish a polystyrene recycling system in France by 2020.

Regarding its biosourced products, Total has partnered with Corbion, establishing the French-Dutch joint venture Total Corbion which has since built and taken into operation a PLA production plant in Thailand with a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per year. 

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