Let’s co-create circular solutions, together!
Our society must remain healthy and livable for the future generations. For BASF, it translates into a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal requires a reduction of fossil feedstock usage and plastics waste.
How can circular solutions contribute to this reduction?
First, the energy required to produce any materials (virgin or not) should come from renewable energy. It means replacing fossil fuels with green energy sources such as wind or solar. Secondly, we must keep fossil carbon in the ground. We should not only stop plastics waste, but also make sure that anything that can be recycled is actually recycled. For that, different technologies must be used in parallel.
Materials need carbon
Decarbonizing energy requires energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind. They are essential to make our plants run on green energy. Since our materials are carbon-based, the transition to circular carbon is the imperative step to prevent the use of additional fossil resources. This circular carbon can be obtained from different sources such as: biomass, CO2 and recycling of carbon containing waste streams. By combining renewable energy with circular carbon, we minimize the demand for new fossil carbon, hence contributing to CO2 emissions reduction.
We need more electricity, and in fact more green electricity. While this work is in progress, we also need to look at recycling technologies to lower carbon emissions along the value chain. Recycling reduces carbon emissions in the value chain by skipping the initial steps of the production. The shorter the loop is, the higher the emission savings are. This is the case of mechanical recycling for end-of-life products.
However, mechanical recycling cannot be used in all situations. That is where chemical recycling intervenes here as a complementary solution using large waste streams like mixed packaging waste and end-of-life tires.
Circularity will only be reached if all recycling technologies are combined and with the support of all stakeholders. We invite all customers and partners to join the Plastics Journey and to co-create solutions how plastics are made, used, and recycled in a more sustainable manner on #ourplasticsjourney.
Feedstock composition will evolve over time
To reach a fully circular economy, all recycling technologies must be considered as they are complementary.
However, even if maximum recycling rates will be achieved, there will be a certain loss of material that should preferably replaced either by biobased carbon feedstock or should come from Carbon Capture and Utilization.
It is not clear today how the distribution of different feedstocks will look like. So we call all stakeholders to join us and co-create it, together.