Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.
This week’s highlights:
- Oil giant Occidental Petroleum Corp. plans to open the world’s biggest plant for sucking carbon dioxide out of the sky in two years, with the aim of selling the captured carbon to manufacture products that include plastic and synthetic fuel. The $1.1 billion plant will be called Stratos. By the time it’s commercially operating in 2025, the 64-acre site will capture 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Occidental has a goal to build 100 such plants by 2035, with future locations to pull about 1 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. A successful build-out would demonstrate that pulling carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere is a viable business model. (Bloomberg)
- The biggest petrochemical plant to be built in Europe in 30 years will be a “carbon bomb” that will worsen the climate crisis and threaten human life, according to environmental groups who are opposing the project in court. Fuelled by ethane from shale gas fracking in the United States, the “cracking” plant to be built in Antwerp by Ineos will create ethylene and contribute directly to huge increases in plastic production on a scale not seen in Europe, they argue. ClientEarth and 13 other organisations told a Flemish court that the plant, known as Project One, should never have been given the go-ahead by authorities. They say the permit infringes EU environmental regulations and will adversely affect the climate, air quality and human health, as well as protected natural areas. (The Guardian)
- A partnership comprising major industry players including ExxonMobil, Cyclyx, Sealed Air, and Ahold Delhaize USA successfully demonstrated the advanced recycling of plastic waste. During the demonstration, the partners collected plastic scrap from grocery stores and converted them into new food-grade packaging using ExxonMobil’s ‘Exxtend’ technology. The Exxtend technology intended for advanced recycling breaks plastic waste into its molecular building blocks and then attributes the certified-circular polymers through mass-balance accounting. The process is now being evaluated for scalability as a result of the successful demonstration. (Packaging Gateway)