24 Jan 2019
SABIC and customers launch certified circular polymers from mixed plastic waste
- SABIC and customers Unilever, Vinventions and Walki Group will introduce ISCC certified circular polymers in 2019 during a market foundation stage.
- SABIC’s certified circular polymers will be produced in The Netherlands from a recycled plastic waste feedstock developed by PLASTIC ENERGY and offer a drop-in alternative for customers looking at meeting the needs of various challenging applications.
- The initiative to upcycle mixed plastic waste back to the original polymer supports SABIC’s and its feedstock supplier and customers commitment to providing innovative solutions for a circular economy.
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND, January 24, 2019 - SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced together with its customers Unilever, Vinventions and Walki Group, the launch of certified circular polymers to be manufactured by SABIC and planned to be used by its customers for packaging solutions for a variety of consumer products that will be introduced into the market in 2019.
The certified circular polymers will be produced from a feedstock known as TACOIL – a patented product from UK-based PLASTIC ENERGY Ltd - from the recycling of low quality, mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill. SABIC will process this feedstock on its production site at Geleen in The Netherlands. The finished certified circular polymers will then be supplied to the three key customers to use in their development of pioneering, high quality and safe consumer packaging for food, beverage, personal and home care products. The market foundation stage is an important step of a project recently announced by SABIC and Plastic Energy to build first commercial plants in the Netherlands to manufacture and process the feedstock.
The announcement of the launch of SABIC’s certified circular polymers has taken place at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, where leaders from all four companies gathered at the iconic, energy-efficient, quick to construct and reusable ICEhouse™ building constructed using SABIC materials. The ICEhouse™, with ICE standing for “Innovation for the Circular Economy”, will host a number of key events from 22 to 25 January and is a fitting venue for the presentation of this initiative that underlines a key strategic sustainability priority for SABIC.
As a disruptive innovation, the introduction of the certified circular polymers in 2019 will create a new value chain, where SABIC, its upstream supplier and key downstream customers work side-by-side to upcycle mixed plastic waste back to the original polymer for packaging applications.
As global brand leaders or frontrunners in their respective areas, Unilever, Vinventions and Walki recognise the importance of sustainability and their role in the circular economy. They also recognise the critical role purity, quality and safety play in consumer product packaging, requirements that are met by SABIC’s certified circular polymers as a drop-in alternative to traditionally produced materials.
SABIC’s strategic customers cover a wide spectrum of consumer packaging needs from Unilever’s packaging for food, personal and home care products; synthetic wine closures for consistent preservation at Vinventions; and Walki Group’s protective packaging materials for consumer products. The common unifier among these companies is the need to deliver the highest quality packaging solutions with consumer safety being paramount and to meet the environmental and sustainability goals demanded by today’s society.
“Sustainability and re-use have been part of SABIC’s mission since its inception” said Yousef Al-Benyan, Vice Chairman and CEO, SABIC. “Today, more than ever, sustainability is a core value which drives our advanced scientific and technological expertise and our pioneering spirit. Along with our eminent customers, we are proud to launch our certified circular polymers which is further testament to our leadership in advancing the circular economy.”
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SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We manufacture on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals.
We support our customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy.
SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 18.4 billion (US$ 4.9 billion) in 2017. Sales revenues for 2017 totaled SR 149.8 billion (US$ 39.9 billion). Total assets stood at SR 322.5 billion (US$ 86 billion) at the end of 2017. Production in 2017 stood at 71.2 million metric tons.
SABIC has more than 34,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have 11,534 global patent filings, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North Asia.
The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent publicly traded on the Saudi stock exchange.
ABOUT THE ICEhouse™
ICEhouse™ was built using SABIC’s LEXAN™ sheet and systems for the walls, ceiling, roofing and windows. It promotes breakthrough technology and the architect William McDonough’s concept of the importance of closed-loop, durable carbon systems. William McDonough, sustainability pioneer, and his companies, William McDonough+Partners and WonderFrame LLC, designed and built ICEhouse™ with SABIC’s collaboration and support. ICEhouse™ represents a prototype for innovative building designs and structures that can be rapidly erected, and are useful in applications such as addressing the housing needs of people in extreme distressed situations.
ABOUT PLASTIC ENERGY
Plastic Energy is in the forefront of the use and development of new technologies to transform traditionally non-recyclable plastic waste into hydrocarbon products and back into plastic. It is leading the way in its field in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy with its two commercial plants in Spain. It is the only company worldwide that has sold millions of litres of oils from plastic waste using patented technology. The company uses chemical recycling to process non-recyclable End of Life Plastics (ELP) from domestic, industrial or agricultural wastes.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 161,000 employees and generated sales of €53.7 billion in 2017. Over half (57%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes all over the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Lynx.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
- Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 46% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70% of the company’s growth in 2017.
Unilever was ranked as an industry leader in the 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2017 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the seventh year running, and achieved four A ratings across Climate Change, Water, Forests and Supplier Engagement in CDP's 2018 Global Supply Chain report. Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive in its operations by 2030, and to ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com. For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living.
Vinventions’ vision is to be the most innovative, most sustainable and most trusted global supplier of Complete Wine Closure Solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry. Protecting every seventh bottle of wine worldwide with its closure solutions, Vinventions is the second largest wine closure supplier globally with strong organic sales growth in 2018. Today, Vinventions employs over 550 associates globally and operates seven production sites in USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Argentina, South Africa and China. The leadership values of Vinventions are based on customer proximity, innovation, local entrepreneurship, open teamwork, sustainability and long-term responsibility.
Find out more at www.vinventions.com.
Walki Group is a leading producer of technical laminates and protective packaging materials, specializing in the production of fibre based, intelligent, multi-laminate products for markets ranging from energy saving construction facings and construction membranes to barrier packaging applications. The Group has plants in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, Russia and China with a workforce of about 900 people. Annual net sales for the Group are over 300 million Euros.
ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) is a globally leading sustainability certification system. It is applied by more than 3,300 companies in 100 countries. ISCC is an independent multi-stakeholder system used to verify compliance with strict sustainability, GHG and traceability requirements. The certification is carried out by independent third-party organizations. ISCC is a high-level standard, widely recognized by authorities and industry initiatives. It is governed by the ISCC Association comprising 112 Members. SABIC is a Member of the ISCC Association. A key objective of ISCC is to support the circular- and bioeconomy
Find out more at: www.iscc-system.org