Cross-industry consortium to reduce PET waste using BP recycling technology

Author: Morgan Condon

2019/12/19

LONDON (ICIS)--Key players in the polyester packaging value chain have joined forces to create a cross-industry consortium that aims to reduce plastic waste, members announced on Thursday.

“The group includes companies involved in the manufacture and use of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), use, as well as players throughout the recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) chain from collection to recycling”.

Founding members include BP, soft drinks producer Britvic, food products multinational Danone, consumer goods major Unilever and packaging and recycling specialists Remondis and ALPLA Group.

Through the consortium, BP will accelerate the commercialisation of a process it is currently developing that converts opaque and difficult to recycle PET plastic waste into recycled feedstocks to make new high-quality material.

It follows BP's announcement that it is constructing a $25m pilot plant in the US to prove this technology on a continuous basis before progressing to full-scale commercialisation.

Through joint efforts, the initiative will look to prevent downcycling and sending PET to landfill or incineration in favour of recycling material.

In a statement, BP said, “Of the PET plastic bottles collected globally, more than 75% are recycled, but only 12% of those collected make it back into new bottles.

“The remainder is currently lost from the bottle-to-bottle loop, as it is used for other applications which are usually disposed of directly after use to landfills or incinerators due to lack of separate collection.”