LyondellBasell takes leadership role in global effort to end plastic waste

LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world today announced CEO Bob Patel has joined with Proctor & Gamble CEO David Taylor and Veolia CEO Antoine Frérot in leading the newly announced global Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW).

The AEPW is the first-ever international coalition of chemical and plastics manufacturers, converters, consumer goods companies, retailers and waste management companies dedicated to partnering with the finance community, government, and environmental and economic development NGOs to find market-based solutions to ending plastic waste in the environment. LyondellBasell is a founding member of AEPW.

“From helping to reduce food waste and improving healthcare products to cutting fuel consumption and emissions from lightweight vehicles, there is no doubt that plastics have played a positive role in improving quality of life for billions of people around the world,” said LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel. “But like so many other products, responsibly managing their disposal or reuse has become a concern – not just for governments or NGOs, but for all of us.”

The nearly 30 companies and organizations that comprise the AEPW have a goal to commit $1.5 billion over the next five years to develop and bring to scale solutions that will minimize and manage plastic waste and promote post-use solutions.

“This approach is unique because it brings together and focuses the efforts and knowledge of plastics producers, consumer goods companies and retailers, as well as waste management companies,” Patel said. “Having the resources and knowledge of the entire global value chain under one umbrella with the same goal is really very powerful.”

AEPW focus areas

The AEPW’s efforts will focus on four key pillars:

  • Infrastructure development to collect and manage waste and increase recycling
  • Innovation to advance and scale new technologies that make recycling and recovering plastics easier and create value from all post-use plastics
  • Education and engagement of governments, businesses and communities to mobilize action
  • Clean up of concentrated areas of plastic waste already in the environment, particularly the major conduits of waste, like rivers, that carry land-based plastic waste to the sea

LyondellBasell’s efforts:

With the growth of the circular economy, LyondellBasell has increased its focus on issues related to eliminating plastic waste. In 2018, LyondellBasell announced two key projects in this area, namely:

  • A first-of-its-kind plastic recycling venture: In March 2018, LyondellBasell and SUEZ entered into a joint venture to acquire Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), a premium plastics recycling company in the Netherlands. The innovative 50/50 joint venture leverages SUEZ’s collection network and leading-edge technology solutions to improve the identification, separation and preparation of materials to be used as feedstock at QCP. LyondellBasell’s long-standing leadership in innovative plastic production technology, vast experience in product development and deep knowledge of important end markets, such as consumer goods, are being leveraged to further grow QCP’s success.
  • R&D partnership on chemical recycling: In July 2018, LyondellBasell announced it signed an agreement with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany to advance chemical recycling of used plastics. The goal of this effort is to develop a new catalyst and process technology to decompose post-consumer plastic waste into clean feedstock for reuse in new products.

About LyondellBasell’s Tuscola Plant The Tuscola plant employs around 100 people and occupies nearly 900 acres. The site produces ethyl alcohol, diethyl ether and specialty polymers. Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is used in many health care and personal product applications such as hair spray, capsule manufacturing, hand sanitizer, and pharmaceutical cleaning. Diethyl ether finds applications as a laboratory reagent solution, usage in chemical synthesis, as an ammunition drier, and starter fluid. The specialty polymers produced here include microfine powders used as additives in personal care products, lubricants, binding agents, water filtration systems, and moisture barriers.

For more information, please visit www.endplasticwaste.org.

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