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Neste launches RE – a 100% renewable and recycled raw material range

Finland-headed oil refiner and renewable products manufacturer Meste Oyj is launching a new product, Neste RE, a 100 percent renewable and recycled raw material for plastics and chemicals production. It is a product for tackling climate change by reducing the need to use virgin fossil resources, while it also provides a new solution to the end-of-life related challenges the polymers and chemicals industries are facing today.

Neste RE is a 100 percent renewable and recycled raw material that helps replace virgin fossil feedstock in the production of plastics and chemicals for a wide range of applications from toys to healthcare (photo courtesy Neste).

According to the company, Neste RE can be used in a wide range of plastics applications, from sports gear to toys, even in sensitive applications such as high-performing medical equipment.

Neste RE makes it possible to use bio-based waste and residues and waste plastic in the manufacture of high-quality products as materials produced with Neste RE are of high quality – identical to plastic products made out of virgin fossil feedstock, and recyclable similarly to their virgin fossil counterparts.

Reduce crude dependency

Neste has a decade-long experience in developing and producing renewable and circular solutions for transportation and is now extending its offering to the polymers and chemicals sectors. With this, Neste supports the reduction of crude oil dependency by providing more sustainable alternatives to the currently used virgin fossil-based feedstock in plastics and chemicals production.

We need to take drastic action to achieve the necessary change towards a circular economy in materials. With Neste RE, we combine the best of renewable and recycled materials, to serve as a sustainable feedstock alternative for the polymers and chemicals sectors. This new product provides a new solution for the industry to close the circle of material flows. Neste RE is available globally, and together with like-minded partners, we can use Neste RE as a tool to change and revolutionize plastics, said Lars Börger, VP of Renewable Polymers & Chemicals at Neste.

A fresh start for plastics

Neste RE is both renewable and recycled: the product’s renewable components can be produced from waste and residue oils and fats and sustainably-produced vegetable oils. The recycled component is produced from chemically-recycled plastic waste that cannot be recycled mechanically, such as colored, multilayer, or multi-material packaging.

The more fossil resource-based content is replaced with content from renewable or recycled origins, the better for the planet. According to the pan-European trade association Plastics Europe, over 29 million tonnes of post-consumer plastic waste was collected in 2018, and of this, only 9.4 million tonnes were directed to recycling – even less actually recycled.

Furthermore, according to the New Plastics Economy initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the share of global oil production used to produce plastics, which is currently 6 percent, may reach 20 percent by 2050.

Neste bio polymers and chemical recycling (photo courtesy Neste).

Neste biopolymers and chemical recycling (photo courtesy Neste).

Collaboration bears fruit

To tackle these numbers by accelerating the plastics industry’s transformation towards a circular bioeconomy, urgent action is required, collaboration among some of the industry forerunners playing a key role.

According to Neste, its ongoing collaborations are already bearing fruit. In 2019, Neste collaborated with LyondellBasell to produce the world’s first commercial-scale volumes of renewable, bio-based polypropylene (PP).

In March 2020, Neste collaborated with Borealis to produce renewable polypropylene with renewable propane at a propane dehydrogenation facility for the first time in history.

Clariant added an entire range of additives based on Neste RE. Together with Recycling Technologies and Unilever, Neste combines expertise to test and validate systems to chemically recycle waste plastics.

In strategic cooperation with Covestro, Neste is promoting the use of sustainable raw materials in plastics production, particularly in the production of polycarbonates. And, together with Jockey, Neste has a collaboration with a target to develop the market for rigid packaging from sustainable renewable and recycled materials for food and non-food applications.

Neste RE is available worldwide to the polymers and chemicals value chain including brands wishing to add bio-based and recycled content to their offering. Neste RE is a drop-in solution compatible with existing polymers and chemicals production infrastructures.

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