Dow unveils big plastics recycling initiative

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

Dow has unveiled a series of partnerships in plastics recycling intended to bring it two-thirds of the way to its goal of collecting, reusing, or recycling 1 million metric tons (t) per year of plastics waste by 2030. The news came as Dow reported a second-quarter sales increase of 13% compared to the year prior, mostly due to rising prices.

The biggest of the collaborations is with the British firm Mura Technology. The companies aim to construct a series of plants—each with 120,000 t of annual capacity—in the US and Europe, for a total of 600,000 t of output by 2030.

Mura uses supercritical steam to chemically break down difficult-to-recycle plastics like flexible polyethylene packaging into products such as naphtha that can by loaded into petrochemical plants for processing back into virgin plastics. Most other processes being promoted by recycling firms use pyrolysis to break down waste plastics. Mura’s first plant using the technology, with 20,000 t per year of capacity, will start up in Teesside, England, in 2023.

Mura may build the new plants at Dow facilities. Dow will buy the output to make so-called postconsumer resins (PCRs).

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