Viewpoint on PLASTICS RECYCLING
- All recycling routes – mechanical, chemical, and organic – are needed to enable a resource-efficient and carbon-neutral circular economy for plastics.
- Life-cycle considerations and local waste infrastructure must be considered to determine the most sustainable recycling option for waste streams containing plastics. For conventional types of plastics, mechanical recycling is preferred if ecologically beneficial, technologically possible, and economically feasible. Chemical recycling is a complementary solution. Organic recycling is preferred when use of a plastic helps to divert organic wastes from landfill/ incineration or the application is responsible for plastic contamination in the organic waste stream.
- BASF offers innovations that support various recycling technologies.
About the topic
Plastics are versatile materials and can have a second life, e.g., by using various recycling technologies. BASF engages in various initiatives, associations, and standardization bodies for an open discourse on recycling technologies.
What we offer
BASF provides different solutions for various recycling technologies. BASF collaborates with various partners on the global, regional, national, and local levels to improve and increase recycling.
Innovations from BASF help ensure that greater amounts of plastics are mechanically/ physically recycled and that the recyclates have the highest possible quality.
- BASF invests in research to analyze the mechanical recyclability of its plastics, e.g., (expanded) polystyrene and polyethylene/polyamide multi-layer films.
- BASF’s global business unit Chemetall offers cleaning solutions for recycling processes.
- BASF improves the properties of recyclates of, e.g., PET or polyolefins, with smart additive packages.
BASF supports the PolyStyreneLoop project that aims to bring solvent-based recycling technology to maturity and allow the recycling of polystyrene from expanded polystyrene (EPS) used in construction.
BASF is investing in various chemical/ feedstock/ advanced recycling technologies such as pyrolysis (e.g., tires, packaging) and depolymerization (e.g., industrial scrap, mattresses) to convert plastic waste into recycled feedstock which is fed into the production network. Chemical recycling yields mass-balanced products with virgin-grade quality and complements mechanical recycling to boost circularity of plastics.
BASF produces biodegradable and certified compostable polymers (e.g., ecovio®) to help divert organic waste from incineration and landfilling and reduce the contamination of organic waste with non-degradable plastics.
BASF supports recycling through a variety of SOLUTIONS FOR SORTING AND TRACING: trinamiX, a subsidiary of BASF, developed a near-infrared (NIR) mobile spectrometer for plastic sorting that allows fast and mobile identification and analysis of materials. In addition, BASF has set up the reciChain platform in Brazil and Canada, which uses blockchain technology to track plastics. BASF also collaborates with Security Matters to enable physical and digital tracking of plastics.
What we ask for
- Ensuring that regulations, standards, and industry guidelines for recycling and the use of recycled content are technology-neutral and enable innovation, i.e., take account of all existing and developed recycling approaches.
- Defining ambitious recycling goals, be open to the different technologies in how to achieve them.
- Selecting recycling options based on full life-cycle considerations and offer flexibility by supporting open loop recycling.
- Ensuring that the policy framework for the use of biodegradable and compostable plastics reflects the benefit of these materials in certain applications.
- Stimulating innovation and investment in high-quality recycling through extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes or green public procurement.
- Supporting a market demand for recycled material in plastic products through incentives and adequate legislation.
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