May 28

Plastics Weekly: Environmental Groups Sue Shell Over New Petrochemical Plant

Editorial Staff
May 15, 2023

Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.

This week’s highlights:

  • Environmental groups have sued Shell over the air quality at its large-scale new petrochemical plant in Pennsylvania. According to a federal lawsuit filed by the Clean Air Council, Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC — a subsidiary of British oil and gas giant Shell plc — is violating state and federal limits on smog, as well as emissions limits in its state-approved operating plan. The “cracker” plant, located about 48 km outside Pittsburgh, opened in November and uses ethane from a vast shale gas reservoir underneath Pennsylvania and surrounding states to makes polyethylene. (Associated Press)
  • TotalEnergies, the French-based global petrochemical company, has acquired Spanish plastics recycler Iber Resinas. The latter recycles polypropylene, polyethylene and polystyrene derived from household and industrial waste at its two plants near Valencia, Spain. TotalEnergies says this acquisition will increase its production of circular polymers in Europe, extend its range of recycled products and enhance its access to feedstock through Iber Resina’s network of suppliers. (Recycling Today)
  • Paper or plastic? These days, the answer isn’t so simple, according to one Bloomberg columnist. The production of paper packaging brings its on raw materials challenges, beyond recycling and petrochemicals. An honest discussion about packaging sustainability must start with transparency. Brands with resources should voluntarily disclose the emissions associated with their packaging decisions, while regulatory agencies should begin working out standards for calculating them. Over time, these environmental “nutrition labels” could spur competition and innovation, benefiting consumers, the environment and brands alike, the columnist writes. (Bloomberg)

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