Veolia debuts new recycled plastics resin
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Veolia debuts new recycled plastics resin

Jun 25, 2023

Veolia Environnement SpA, one of Europe's largest plastics recycling and waste management companies, has launched a new brand of recycled resins that it hopes will boost sustainability efforts throughout much of the world.

"We're able to do this well as a recycling business," said Sven Saura, vice president in charge of recycling and plastics at the Aubervilliers, France-based company. "We already have the quality standards in place and the processes we need to recycle plastics."

The recycler is christening the resin PlastiLoop and plans to roll it out immediately to recycling customers and others in Europe and Asia. While it is looking at other markets, the material hopes to be a major player in recycled applications in its existing regions, Saura said.

The company already has plans to produce as much as 300,000 tonnes of recycled material, said Anne Le Guennec, CEO of waste activities in France. The company expects to recycle as much as 600,000 tonnes of resin at its many facilities by next year, meeting a goal it set in 2019 to double its production. That includes work at five recycling facilities in France and locations in 14 other countries.

Veolia has the ability to produce recycled resin for a wide variety of applications using such materials as PET, high and low density polyethylene, polypropylene and ABS. The PlastiLoop resin can be customized to customer needs.

While it is unusual for a recycler to produce its own resin, Saura said the company is well positioned to take advantage of its interconnected network of facilities and its ability to produce high-quality recycled flake, pellets and compounds that meet technical standards for performance and safety. The market has shifted in the past years to one where quality demands are higher and the resin must perform as well as virgin material, he said.

"It was not so many years ago that recycled resin was considered cheap and did not have to meet high performance standards," Saura said. "Now, such areas as safety, design and feel are equally important, if not more so, and the resin must meet exacting technical specifications."

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The company, with more than 50 plants in Europe and Asia, will focus on seven industries for PlastiLoop resin: automotive, home appliances, agriculture, textiles, packaging, building and construction, and industrial and logistics. It has started the process of finding partners in some of those areas.

In automotive, the company has partnered with Tier 1 supplier Forvia, the Nanterre, France-based company that changed its name in January from Faurecia. Veolia plans to produce as much as 15,000 tonnes of recycled material for Forvia and others in interior and underhood applications.

Veolia is also using material collected from 800,000 PET bottles from Paris-based Danone to produce textiles, including clothing and backpacks. In packaging, the company plans to sell resin used in bottles, films, containers and caps, among other applications. Veolia has received food-contact approval for its resin in some areas of Asia.

Ultimately, the launch of PlastiLoop will involve the further industrialization of Veolia's business, tying together what has been disparate operations running independently into a combined unit that can collect, sort, grind and produce resin for the new operation, Saura said. The company claims to be the largest producer in its markets for recycled PP, HDPE and PET.

The PlastiLoop resin is a unique proposition for the company, bringing together the commercial and technical resources of a global leader, said Veolia CEO Estelle Brachlianoff in prepared remarks. Recycled plastic can cut carbon emissions as much as 75 percent from virgin materials, she said.

"We want to be a champion of transformation," Le Guennec emphasized in introductory remarks at an Oct. 20 press briefing. "There has always been promise in showing ambition [to recycle plastics], but we have a commitment to deliver."

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For more K 2022 coverage, check out our entire collection of stories from the show. Or you can view all of Plastics News' show dailies from the fair here.