Dow (Midland, Mich.) announced an agreement with French recycling company Valoregen to contribute to building the largest single hybrid recycling site in France, to be owned and operated by Valoregen. This accompanies Dow’s recent plans to build an advanced recycling facility in Dallas, Tex.
Fabrice Digonnet, mechanical recycling strategy leader for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics, said: “We are delighted to work with Valoregen on this innovative new project that can help give recycling in Europe a real boost. Recycling rates for plastics are still far too low and we need to help scale the technology and ensure a viable market for plastics waste. Our investment will help increase mechanical recycling rates and in doing so, help accelerate a circular economy for plastics and reduce carbon emissions. We are excited to offer our investment and expertise on this ground-breaking initiative, while continuing to scale up circularity solutions for our customers.”
The project, which is expected to be operational and delivering recycled materials at the end of Q1 2023, will mark an important step in bringing together mechanical recycling (which processes certain plastic waste into secondary products) and newer, advanced recycling processes (which breaks down mixed, hard-to-recycle plastics into their original naphtha-like liquid form to manufacture new virgin-like polymers).
Valoregen’s ultimate aim is to create a unique ecosystem capable of recycling all forms of plastic waste in one place. Both mechanical and advanced recycling technologies are complementary and essential to achieving Dow’s commitment to incorporate at least 100,000 tonnes of recycled plastics in its product offerings sold in the European Union by 2025.
Thierry Perez, president of Valoregen, commented: “Dow’s collaboration and trust in Valoregen’s innovative and disruptive model has been key to the project’s success and we are pleased to formalise this partnership. Our committed team has developed a concrete, agile solution that contributes to the circular economy of plastics and advances decarbonisation. This next generation solution will achieve recycling for high-end technical packaging applications. We are delighted to work so closely with Dow towards circular solutions.”
By bringing these technologies under one roof, the plant will increase energy efficiency by enabling a yield greater than 80%, well above the average conventional mechanical recycling efficiency of approximately 60-70% – minimizing waste – thanks to a smart energy management system. Valoregen will also reduce the overall carbon emissions produced from these processes as it strives to limit the transportation of waste products to different sites.
Dow will be the main recipient of post-consumer resins, which it will use to develop new plastic products marketed under Dow’s REVOLOOP™ product range. It will also provide significant expertise in recycling technology to Valoregen to support the development of its capabilities.
Mechanical recycling remains a significant element of Dow’s circularity strategy, including ensuring Valoregen can scale production to increase recycling in Europe. Mechanical recycling currently accounts for the vast majority of plastics recycling, however rates are still too low. Dow will continue to work with Valoregen to fully develop the ecosystem with advanced recycling. The site has been authorized by the classified installation for the protection of the environment (I.C.P.E. – Installation Classée pour la Protection de l’Environnement),