US – US-based chemical company Dow has signed a detailed letter of intent (LOI) with Nexus Circular for Dow to secure the production output of a newly constructed advanced recycling facility in Dallas, Texas.

The new facility will process and convert over 26,000 MTs annually of previously non-recycled plastic into a circular feedstock that will be delivered back to Dow as a raw material to create new, recycled plastics for food-contact, health, hygiene, and fitness applications.

The LOI builds on Dow and Nexus Circular’s initial joint effort as the chosen advanced recycler for the Hefty® EnergyBag® program.

The program was launched in collaboration between Dow, Reynolds Consumer Products and others, to collect hard-to-recycle plastics at residential curbside to convert them into valued resources.

The announcement marks an evolution of the companies’ deepening relationship, from converting hard-to-recycle plastics into energy to now converting circular feedstock into actual plastic products, making the converted material truly circular.

At present, the demand for recycled plastics far outstrips the supply. Beyond the capabilities of mechanically recycled polyolefins, chemically recycled polyolefins offer virgin-like quality and thus inherent food-grade status, both of which are very attractive to consumer goods companies.

Building off of this incentive, Dow has shared that they can charge a premium of up to US$1,500/tonne for chemically recycled resins, in comparison to their virgin counterparts.

According to the ICIS US recycled polyethylene (R-PE) market report, natural colored post-consumer, food-grade recycled high-density polyethylene (R-HDPE) pellets are priced at a premium of roughly US$660-770/tonnes greater than virgin HDPE resin.

Nexus Circular is a commercial leader in advanced recycling that uses a proprietary process and pyrolysis (high-temperature decomposition) technology to transform waste plastics into high-quality circular feedstocks its partners use in the production of circular polymers.

The company has optimized the technology to create a highly efficient, economic, commercial and scalable system for delivering cost-effective, high quality and environmentally friendly circular products for its partners and customers.

A hybrid recycling facility in France

Meanwhile, Dow has signed an agreement with French recycling firm Valoregen to help construct a new hybrid recycling site in France.

Touted to be the largest single hybrid recycling site in France, the facility will be owned and operated by Valoregen. It will have the capacity to treat up to 70 kilotons of plastic trash annually.

Under the agreement, Dow will be the main off-taker of post-consumer resins (PCR) from the new plant.

The facility will eventually mix mechanical and advanced recycling facilities into a single ecosystem in the future.

The project is expected to become operational and start supplying recycled materials at the end of the first quarter of 2023.

In addition, the facility will boost energy efficiency by permitting a yield of more than 80%, much beyond the average traditional mechanical recycling efficiency of roughly 60-70%.

Valoregen will also reduce the overall carbon emissions created by these activities as it works to minimize the transportation of waste materials to various places.

The majority of the post-consumer resins will go to Dow, which will utilize them to create new plastic items that will be sold under the REVOLOOP brand.

The deal is another example of Dow’s attempts to achieve its environmental, climate, and plastic waste reduction goals.

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