Plastics are found in virtually everything we use these days. Our food and hygiene products are packed in it. Our car, phone and computer are made of it, so are many more applications. Plastics have a positive effect on the environment since they are light weighted and therefore save energy in transport. When used as insulation they also save energy. They reduce the spilling of food by advanced packaging solutions that extend the shelf life.
However, when plastics come to their end of life, they often have a negative impact on our environment. They end up in landfills, beaches, rivers and oceans. On a total European plastics consumption of around 50 million tons per year, half of it is waste of which 11 million tons is land filled and 9 million ton is burned.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impacts from plastic waste and ask for sustainable solutions. Brand owners react to this trend and are looking for partners to co-develop circular products. The European Commission acts by tightening legislation through banning landfill and reducing incineration. This will free up large quantities of used plastics.
These used plastics offer a sustainable route for producing new ‘circular’ plastics in terms of resource efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction and waste.
While most plastics are touted as recyclable, the reality is that they’re down-cycled and used in low end applications. QCP will produce plastics that can be used in high-end applications by using the latest proven technologies and driving in-house innovations in the field of recipe development, extrusion and purification technology.
By using mechanically recycled polyolefins, the resource depletion reduces with a factor 20 compared to fossil based polyolefins. The impact of recycled polyolefins on global warming is only 10% compared to fossil based polyolefins. Mechanical recycling of polyolefins reduces acidification and eutrophication with more than a factor 10 compared to fossil based polyolefins.
Planet and Profit go hand in hand. Europe does not have access to advantaged fossil or bio feedstock, and has an advanced waste collection structure in most countries. In addition, circular polymers are the only route to solve the waste issue. The European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, supports this development with the Green Paper on Plastic Waste Management. QCP will benefit from the legal forces that untap 11 million ton of Polyolefins currently disposed or incinerated. In addition, it is expected that export volumes will reduce due to changing legislation.
QCP will invest heavily in sorting and purification capability for post consumer waste.