SABIC aims to process 1M metric tonnes through circular plastic initiative by 2030

UAE – Saudi chemical company SABIC has announced a target of making 1 million metric tonnes annually of its recycled-content TruCircle plastic by 2030.

The firm stated its ambition to process 1 million metric tons of recycled-content resins annually at the January 2023 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

At the event, Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, CEO of the firm, said: “Driving circularity for plastics will require a rapid transformation of the entire value chain, which is only possible through collective action, innovation, and collaboration across the industry and ecosystem of waste management.

“Therefore, we are working hard with downstream and upstream partners to accelerate this process.”

SABIC announced at the 2019 Davos event that it intended to build a small-scale commercial unit to produce certified circular polymers from the “advanced” recycling of discarded plastics.

Since then, the company has engaged in advanced recycling efforts for brand owners and customers.

Construction of the company’s first commercial unit in Geleen, Netherlands, is now entering the final stages and deliveries of its first circular polymers are expected in 2023, according to SABIC.

As its next step toward the 2030 target, SABIC says it will “upscale volumes globally of advanced and mechanical recycling as well as bio-based materials.”

The company says it is currently exploring plans for a larger-scale project, which is likely to have a processing capacity of around 200,000 tonnes/year, as well as other projects potentially including a smaller-scale chemical recycling plant in Saudi Arabia.

“We can’t deliver the million if we haven’t done the 200,000 so these are the kinds of steps that we have to take,” said Bob Maughon, chief technology and sustainability officer at SABIC.

A location is yet to be decided for the proposed large-scale project, but it is likely to be built somewhere in Europe, according to Maughon, due in part to the maturity of waste management in the region.

Since 2020, SABIC says its certified circular polypropylene (PP) has been used in ice cream tubs by the Unilever ice cream brand Magnum.

In another collaboration, the firm teamed up with Mars and Landbell in a closed-loop recycling project designed to close the loop on a PP snack bar wrapper.

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