LyondellBasell Industries has launched Circulen, a group of materials that officials said will allow brand owners to improve the sustainability of consumer products.
In an April 12 news release, officials with the Houston-based firm said the Circulen launch "marks the next step in LyondellBasell delivering on its sustainability goal of producing and marketing 2 million metric tons of recycled and renewable-based polymers annually by 2030."
They added that target "is one of the most ambitious goals in the industry."
The Circulen line supports the reduction of plastic waste through use of recycled content, officials said, and provides a lower carbon footprint through use of renewable-based content as compared to feedstock from fossil-based sources.
The Circulen portfolio is available in Europe and will soon be introduced in North America and China. Circulen products already are being used in the Samsonite Magnum Eco suitcase line and in garden equipment such as watering cans.
The Circulen portfolio includes:
• CirculenRecover polymers, made from plastic waste through a mechanical recycling process.
• CirculenRevive polymers, made using an advanced molecular recycling process to convert plastic waste into feedstock to produce new polymers.
• CirculenRenew polymers, made from renewable feedstocks such as used cooking oil.
To help achieve the company's ambitions, officials said that LyondellBasell "is implementing a multipronged approach to advance the circular economy by bringing sustainable solutions to life."
"With the new Circulen product portfolio, we are taking concrete action to advance the circular economy today, innovate for the future and partner across the value chain," said Ken Lane, executive vice president of global olefins and polyolefins.
"Our ambition is bold, yet necessary, and we are committed to doing our part to help address the global challenges of plastic waste in the environment and climate change while meeting customer and brand owner needs," he added.
In an April 12 interview with Plastics News, Lane said that the initial focus for the Circulen line will be recycled high density polyethylene and polypropylene, with later expansion to low density PE. He added that initial customer response to the new materials has been very positive.
"I think what we've seen over the last decade is that a lot of people have been talking about recycling, but now society is demanding that companies do something about it," he added. "There's a real drive in the market to respond with scale and bring products to market.
"This isn't just coming from brand owners; it's what consumers are demanding."
Other recent circular economy actions taken by LyondellBasell include:
• Expanding the Quality Circular Polymers mechanical recycling joint venture portfolio to include post-consumer and post-industrial recycled plastic.
• Extending future innovation in advanced molecular recycling with the firm's MoReTec technology and the startup of a pilot facility.
• Using renewable-based feedstocks made of waste and cooking oils to make plastic products that help reduce CO2 over the product life cycle.
• Securing International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS certification for the firm's European cracker and polymer sites.
LyondellBasell is a major supplier of PE and PP resins and plastic compounds. The firm posted sales of almost $28 billion in 2020.