Closing the Loop: How LyondellBasell & EEW Energy from Waste are Advancing Plastic Recycling

Men in hard hats and orange protective wear at a plastic recycling plant

(Credit: LyondellBasell Industries)

by | Mar 27, 2023

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Men in hard hats and orange protective wear at a plastic recycling plant

(Credit: LyondellBasell Industries)

LyondellBasell and EEW Energy from Waste announced they have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to explore a long-term strategic partnership to extract and recycle plastics out of incineration waste streams.

What Will Each Company Bring To The Table? 

As a global leader in the chemical industry, LyondellBasell currently provides advancement in sustainable solutions in over 100 international markets. The company prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion and emphasizes its commitment to the planet, communities, and future workforce. EEW Energy from Waste is a key European player in the thermal recovery of waste and sewage sludge. The company operates 17 sites and employs over 1,400 staff to reduce waste volume, eliminate waste hazards safely, and recycle scrap metals and compound materials.

EVP of Circular and Low Carbon Solutions at LyondellBasell, Yvonne van der Laan stated, “Collaborations across the value chain are part of our strategy and are increasingly necessary to free up plastic waste from sources that today do not end up in recycling. The materials from these sorting facilities would not only support our existing mechanical recycling facilities in the Netherlands and a potential advanced recycling unit in Germany but also allows us to optimize waste streams and drive additional value.”

What Does This New LOI Mean For The Waste Industry?

Accordingly, the LOI is in line with LyondellBasell’s new strategy to invest in advanced sorting infrastructure to produce plastic waste-based feedstocks, grow its Circular and Low Carbon Solutions business, and deliver on its value-creation ambitions.

The proposed partnership involves the construction of waste pre-sorting facilities at or near EEW incineration plants to remove plastics from waste streams bound for incineration. Additionally, investment in advanced sorting facilities is being made to further sort and refine the plastic that has been removed.

Ultimately, this collaboration is a significant step towards achieving a more sustainable future, where plastic waste is recycled and reused, reducing the amount of plastic ending up in landfills or the environment.

Closing the Loop

This collaborative initiative entails closing the loop on plastics currently designated for incineration by sorting them out for use as feedstock in both mechanical and advanced recycling processes. Effectively removing these materials from the incineration waste stream, thereby circumventing the fossil CO2 emissions that arise from combusting such materials.

Furthermore, the intended cooperation signifies a significant advancement in recycling opportunities, leveraging the sites and technical expertise of both LyondellBasell and EEW to establish a sustainable circular economy. Leading to the optimization of recycling processes and the utilization of innovative technologies to promote resource efficiency and minimize waste generation. Through this partnership, the companies aim to create a blueprint for the recycling industry by exploring novel solutions that support sustainable development and environmental stewardship.

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