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Grønt Punkt Norge to supply post-consumer plastic to Quantafuel

In Norway, Grønt Punkt Norge AS has announced that it has entered into an agreement via its subsidiary Plastretur AS with compatriot waste plastic-to fuel and chemical developer Quantafuel AS for the supply of up to 10 000 tonnes of post-consumer plastic packaging to Quantafuel's new facility in Skive, Denmark. Here the material will be chemically recycled into feedstock for new plastic for the German chemical major BASF.

In Norway, Grønt Punkt Norge AS has announced that it has entered into an agreement via its subsidiary Plastretur AS with compatriot waste plastic-to fuel and chemical developer Quantafuel AS for the supply of up to 10 000 tonnes of post-consumer plastic packaging to Quantafuel’s new facility in Skive, Denmark (photo courtesy Quantafuel).

Grønt Punkt Norge AS provides financing for post-consumer packaging deposit and recycling schemes in Norway on behalf of consumer goods companies for plastic, metal and glass packaging, packaging carton, beverage cartons, and corrugated cardboard.

In addition, its subsidiaries, Plastretur AS and Norsk Returkartong AS, that provide collection and recycling operations for plastic packaging, and packaging and beverage carton respectively.

According to a statement, Plastretur will deliver between 7 000 and 10 000 tonnes of plastic packaging from Norwegian households to Quantafuel Skive in Denmark, for thermochemical recycling into raw materials suitable to use to produce new plastic products while avoiding the limitations in ordinary mechanical material recycling.

This raw material will be used to produce new plastic by the chemical giant BASF.

This project ensures that as much as 10 000 tonnes of plastic packaging from Norwegian households can be recycled in our plant and become new plastic products. This is a pioneering project in chemical recycling and will show Europe how to achieve the ambitious targets set in the EU for plastics recycling. Grønt Punkt Norge is leading the way for Norway, and we are confident that other European countries will follow, said Thomas Steenbuch Tharaldsen, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Sustainability at Quantafuel.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, far more plastic packaging from households is collected. This is a major challenge in a market with low demand and scarce capacity in sorting facilities. Plastretur is therefore thrilled to reach this agreement.

Innovation prevails during times of crisis. Delivering collected household plastic packaging for chemical recycling rather than sending some of it to energy utilization is very good news for the environment. As the first country in Europe, we are looking forward to analyzing the data and volumes of chemical recycling said Svein Erik Rødvik, Recycling Manager at Grønt Punkt Norge.

Norwegian recycling company Geminor AS is also participating in the project and will be responsible for developing a sorting line specially tailored to Quantafuel’s needs. The purpose is to utilize as much plastic packaging as possible for chemical recycling.

Track and trace

This test project will be important for documenting chemical recycling from a sustainability perspective. The parties will map the origin of plastic waste, the alternative use of the plastic, and the percentage of the plastic waste that is processed into new raw material for new plastic products.

The findings will be summarized in a report to the Norwegian Environment Agency, which also has been consulted in the project.

The Agency has confirmed that chemical recycling, where the chemical feedstock goes into new plastic production, is defined as recycling on the same level as mechanical recycling.

We have a unique opportunity to follow the plastic waste through a Nordic value chain and document the extent of closing the recycling loop of plastic. The goal is to gain even more knowledge, the highest possible utilization of resources, and the greatest possible environmental benefit. Chemical material recycling through pyrolysis is the technology with the greatest potential to solve plastic problems in Europe, said Thomas Steenbuch Tharaldsen.

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