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Our ambition is to be recognized worldwide as a company that develops the recycling supply chain in the regions where we operate and be a leader in recycling in the Americas. Our transition strategy to a circular economy is heavily based on mechanical and advanced recycling solutions. We continue to act in partnership with other organizations in our value chain to strengthen mechanical recycling, overcoming technical and logistical barriers to ensure the quality and quantity of recycled material. We also continue to work on improving advanced recycling technology and solutions. Advanced recycling refers to the process by which plastic is transformed back into raw material for new plastic or chemical products. .
Our transition strategy to a circular economy is heavily based on mechanical and advanced recycling solutions. We continue to act in partnership with other organizations in our chain to strengthen mechanical recycling, overcoming technical and logistical barriers to ensure the quality and quantity of recycled material. We also continue to work on improving advanced recycling technology and solutions. Advanced recycling refers to the transformation of plastic waste into chemical inputs, fuels, or raw materials for the manufacture of new plastic products. .
Partnership with Valoren, a company specializing in the development and operation of technologies for the transformation of waste, to build a recycling line in Indaiatuba (São Paulo, Brazil) and to expand our portfolio of post-consumer recycled resins. We have invested BRL 67 million in the construction of a mechanical recycling unit with the capacity to transform 250 million packages into 14,000 tons of high-quality post-consumer resin per year.
In 2020, we signed an environmental engineering agreement with the company Tecipar through which we created a screening plant to separate solid and organic waste from the public waste collection system in the municipalities of Barueri and Santana de Parnaíba. The screened plastic is sent to a Braskem recycling partner and the recycled resins become raw material for new plastic products. The project is expected to prevent two thousand tons of plastic waste from being disposed of annually in the Santana de Parnaíba landfill. This total is the equivalent of approximately 36 million plastic packages.
Promoting technologies to develop higher quality recycled resins with diverse applications is one of the major challenges in boosting material circularity and making progress in the circular economy. With that in mind, Braskem has a state-of-the-art structure—the Circular Economy Island, located in the Innovation and Technology Center, in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul—to develop, test, and improve the performance of circular products. The island will accelerate the development and applicability of post-consumer recycled resins, delivering gains in quality, variety, and efficiency to meet the most stringent requirements of the plastics market and packaging sector.
In partnership with Alcamare, the region’s largest recycler, Braskem Idesa seeks to increase PE and PP recycling. Products with recycled plastic are already being marketed, and companies are working together to offer food-grade recycled products, that is, PCR to be used in direct contact with food.
Braskem, Fábrica Carioca de Catalisadores (FCC S/A), the National Service for Industrial Training’s Center for Technology in the Chemical and Textile Industry (SENAI/CETIQT) and the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ) signed a cooperation agreement for the development of catalysts that improve the efficiency of pyrolysis technology. Pyrolysis refers to the process that uses heat to break down plastic resin molecules, transforming them back into raw materials that can be used in the plastic production chain. These catalysts are expected to improve the quality of the products generated during the advanced recycling process for plastic waste.
To continue investing in advanced recycling, Braskem is developing technical feasibility studies with companies that specialize in conventional and alternative technology. These studies seek to evaluate and compare various technologies for advanced recycling in order to leverage plastic recycling in all regions where the company operates.
The development of cutting-edge non-pyrolysis technology for advanced recycling to transform plastic waste into basic chemicals. Using a process that involves a proprietary catalyst and technology, the plastic molecules are broken down, making other future applications feasible. The project has contributed to the circularity of low-carbon plastic and also accounts for a lower rate of contaminants in the recycled resin.
In order to achieve integrated recycling, Braskem and Valoren have teamed up to build and install an Advanced Recycling unit in Indaiatuba (São Paulo, Brazil). By means of the pyrolysis process, plastic waste will be transformed through chemical processing into certified circular raw material, which will be used to produce resins or chemical inputs. The new unit, the result of a BRL 44 million joint investment, should begin operations in the first quarter of 2023, with an annual production capacity of up to 6,000 tons of circular products.
In 2018, we became members of the Operation Clean Sweep program, by which we committed to ensuring that all of our industrial units would adopt the best practices in pellet, flake and powder control. Our goal was to become an OCS Blue Member—the highest level of participation in the program, by 2020. Not only did we reach this goal in Brazil, but also in the United States. In all, our actions within the Zero Pellet program, along with other pellet control measures within the units, have resulted in the collection of approximately 2,000 tons of pellets, flakes and powder, preventing these from reaching rivers and oceans.
Meeting society’s growing demand for sustainability and circularity requires much more than the use of recycled materials. We need to fundamentally rethink the entire product, from resource extraction and material production to the consumer experience. That’s what Braskem proposes: we combine our polymer expertise and transformation processes with brand owners’ consumer knowledge to deliver an incredible experience with the lowest environmental impact possible. Aiming for more sustainable and circular packaging, we have developed a “design for environment” methodology that uses lifecycle analysis to identify environmental hotspots throughout the entire product lifecycle. From this scientifically identified gap, the next step is to explore the consumer’s universe and journey, maximizing attractiveness and usability. The ideation/prototyping/testing loop is repeated until we are able to combine sustainability, circularity, and consumer experience into a single product.
In the United States, Braskem is a founding member of the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, which focuses on increasing access to PP recycling to ensure that this material is widely recovered and reused in end markets, including food and beverage product packaging, consumer products, and auto parts.
Braskem has joined Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), MH&R, SANDIA National Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Lab and P&G, in the USA, to develop a new method of separating components in multilayered packaging. The initiative proposes an innovative and disruptive approach to solving one of the industry’s current challenges: creating alternatives to recycle multilayered packaging, since the elements thereof are more difficult to separate and recycle via conventional means. Through this technology, Braskem and its partners will be able to separate both layers (polyolefin and non-polyolefin), allowing these to be submitted to mechanical or advanced recycling.