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Dow Chemical Company expands global capabilities for circular plastics

US-headed global materials science and chemicals major Dow Chemical Company (Dow) has announced several advancements in its efforts to prevent plastic waste, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and provide customers with recycled plastic products that provide the same performance as virgin plastics derived from fossil fuel-based feedstocks. The advancements will enable Dow to provide an initial supply of fully circular polymers to customers starting in 2022.

Dow Chemical Company (Dow) has announced several advancements in its efforts to prevent plastic waste, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and provide customers with recycled plastic products that provide the same performance as virgin plastics derived from fossil fuel-based feedstocks. The advancements will enable Dow to provide an initial supply of fully circular polymers to customers starting in 2022 (photo courtesy Dow).

The market is placing significant value on circularity and Dow is innovating to address the tremendous unmet demand for circular and low carbon polymers. As the leading materials science company, Dow is offering our customers what they need today and helping them develop more sustainable products, including 100 percent recyclable solutions or adding recycled or bio-based content into their products, said Diego Donoso, President of Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics.

The advancements include:

  • Dow and Fuenix Ecogy Group are expanding upon the companies’ initial agreement to scale circular plastics production through advanced recycling with the construction of a second plant in Weert, the Netherlands. The new plant will process 20 000 tonnes of waste plastic into pyrolysis oil feedstock, which will be used to produce new circular plastic at Dow’s Terneuzen site in the Netherlands.
  • Dow and Gunvor Petroleum Rotterdam finalized an agreement to purify pyrolysis oil feedstocks derived from plastic waste. Gunvor will supply cracker-ready feedstock to Dow beginning in 2021, which will be used to produce circular plastics for customers. The purification process is necessary to ensure the pyrolysis oil feedstocks are of sufficient quality to produce new polymers.
  • Dow is fast-tracking the design, engineering, and construction of a market development scale purification unit in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, to provide additional capacity to purify pyrolysis oil feedstock derived from plastic waste.
    Dow has established a multi-year agreement with New Hope Energy, based in Tyler, Texas (TX), to supply the company with pyrolysis oil feedstocks derived from plastics recycled in North America. New Hope Energy converts used plastics into pyrolysis oil feedstock, which Dow will use to produce circular plastics.

In preparation to deliver certified circular plastic products to its customers, Dow has received or is on track to receive International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) for each of its major European and US sites.

Certification requires an independent, external audit, ensuring product supply chains are fully traceable and that Dow and its suppliers are adhering to and accelerating sustainable practices.

The advancements complement Dow’s recently announced partnership with Mura Technology to support the rapid scaling of Mura’s new Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution (HydroPRS) advanced recycling process.

The world’s first plant using HydroPRS is in development in Teesside, UK, with the first 20 000 tonnes per year line expected to be operational in 2023, providing Dow with additional recycled feedstocks.

Recover 1 million tonnes by 2030

All of these efforts enable plastics that are currently unrecyclable to be recycled, including flexible plastics used in packaging, which today are typically sent to landfills or used in energy recovery.

Dow says that it is taking “important steps” toward meeting its sustainability targets to address both climate change and plastic waste.

The company has set targets to enable 1 million tonnes of plastic to be collected, reused, or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships by 2030, and to enable 100 percent of its products sold into packaging applications to be reusable or recyclable by 2035.

Dow continues to collaborate on leading technologies to enable the future we envision – the sustainable, resource-efficient production of circular plastics – to preserve the tremendous environmental benefits of plastics, including the critical role plastics play in reducing carbon emissions, ended Diego Donoso.

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