Materials company Borealis and recycling machinery supplier Tomra have joined forces at a recycling demonstration plant in Lahnstein, Germany, to support the use of post-consumer recycled plastics.
The plant launched in mid-January and is jointly operated by the two companies, in collaboration with waste management company Zimmerman. The partnership marries chemistry with technology for "unsurpassed" results, the companies said.
Both rigid and flexible household plastic waste is sorted at the plant, then reprocessed into high-purity, low-odor pellets.
The ready-for-market, fully formulated material features the high product consistency and light color fractions often required for automotive or consumer product plastic applications.
The demonstration plant aims to generate material for brand owners and converters to qualify, validate and prove them fit for use in demanding applications. The first material will become available for qualification in early 2021. Once the technical success of the process has been established, the companies hope to proceed towards a commercial-scale advanced recycling plant.
The plant embodies the principles of Borealis' EverMind platform, the umbrella brand created to heighten the visibility of plastics circularity and to innovate this through collaboration, said Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis executive vice president polyolefins, innovation and technology and circular economy solutions.
The material will be sold under the trade name Borcycle M-grade recycled polymers and will meet customer quality requirements across the value chain.
"Offering brand owners and converters top quality recycled material, suitable for use in highly demanding applications, is Borealis' latest contribution to a more circular economy of plastics," Foufopoulos said.
However, it's just the beginning of what's possible when key players in the value chain come together to make a truly significant impact in the market.