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Making waste plastic fantastic

10 September 2020

Renewi is involved in an innovative circular production programme to transform waste plastic into virgin polymers so they can be used to create new products. We have an exclusive arrangement with UK firm Plastic Energy to deliver plastic waste to its plant at Geleen in the Netherlands, where it will be converted into ‘Tacoil’ by the process of pyrolysis.

The plastic comes from waste streams that are difficult to recycle mechanically and therefore end up in the incinerators or at landfills. Global chemical company Sabic will then convert the Tacoil to polyethylene and polypropylene pellets. These pellets can be used to make a huge variety of products, from food packaging to vehicle parts. This chemical method results in products that are ‘purer’ than those created by mechanical recycling, where plastic is shredded into flakes: mechanically recycled plastic may contain contaminants, so cannot be used for food packaging.

The plastic feedstock we supply will come from different sources, including our building and demolition lines in the Netherlands, and possibly Belgium and the UK too. Renewi will pre-treat the waste, to remove contaminants such as metal and PVC. We will deliver 20 kilotonnes of feedstock to Plastic Energy every year.