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Russian Sibur to produce PET granules partially from recycled feedstock

Russian Sibur to produce PET granules partially from recycled feedstock

News 02.09.2020

SIBUR's POLIEF site in Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, launches the production of green PET granules, which, among other materials, will rely on some 34 kt of recycled plastics annually. PET flakes derived from used food packaging will serve as an input for primary polymers. Compliant with the highest standards, POLIEF green granules will help satisfy growing demand for eco-friendly PET packaging while providing the manufacturer with a comprehensive solution combining primary and secondary PET. On top of that, reusing valuable feedstock to make high-quality products will cut specific electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as a result.

PET is utilised to manufacture packaging for soft drinks, dairy products, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, and much more. PET packages are inert to foods, safe for people and the environment, and fully recyclable.

Maxim Remchukov, Head of Sustainable Development at SIBUR:

“Involving recyclables in PET production is a vital part of SIBUR’s 2025 Sustainability Strategy. SIBUR remains focused on boosting process efficiency, improving its grade range, enhancing product properties and developing new solutions. By using recycled feedstock, the Company will help promote the circular economy, while also cutting its greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of end products.”

SIBUR has signed relevant cooperation agreements with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Russian Environmental Operator on the sidelines of EEF 2019. The investment project provides for installing the equipment to further treat and sort flakes, which will make it possible to feed the recycled feedstock into the existing production line. The design and engineering documentation will leverage the latest solutions and technologies from global leaders in industrial polymer processing. The project is on the priority list of SIBUR's Blagoveshchensk site for 2020–2022.

Evgeny Semenko, CEO of POLIEF:

“We expect to start using recycled polyethylene terephthalate packaging at POLIEF by mid-2022. This will enable us to offer both primary and secondary PET and contribute to promoting the circular economy. The processing method allows for the polymer break-down and repeated use of feedstock. The approved technology for using secondary PET (PET flakes) in the primary PET production is an eco-friendly advanced way of industrial PET recycling, unique in Russia.”

PET flakes will come from different parts of Russia, with Bashkortostan and the neighbouring regions having priority. The project will rely on intermediates from processed bottles washed and prepared by suppliers at their own sites. The incoming feedstock will be checked for compliance with quality standards. Bashkortostan currently collects 4 kt of used PET bottles per year, with the figure to potentially reach 20 ktpa if measures are taken to improve collection rates and the sorting quality.

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