Honeywell has entered into a strategic agreement with TotalEnergies to convert formerly non-recyclable plastic waste into sustainable packaging. TotalEnergies has agreed to purchase Honeywell’s new Recycled Polymer Feedstock and convert the raw material into virgin-quality polymers suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including both flexible and rigid food-grade packaging containers and other high-demand products. TotalEnergy will manufacture the polymers in its European-based production units.
Honeywell rolled out the new recycling technology, called UpCycle, last November. The process expands the type of plastics that can be recycled to 90% when used alongside other chemical and mechanical recycling processes and enables hundreds of cycles of recycling. It is also capable of producing recycled feedstock used to make plastics with 57% fewer emissions than plastics produced from fossil fuel feeds.
UpCycle employs molecular conversion, heat-activated decomposition, and contaminants management technology to convert waste plastic to its proprietary feedstock, which can then be used to make new plastics. The technology allows types of plastics that typically go unrecycled, including colored, flexible, multilayered packaging, and polystyrene to be processed.
Honeywell will produce the feedstock alongside Spanish infrastructure operator Sacyr at a jointly owned factory in Andalusia, Spain. The plant will convert an estimated 30,000 metric tons annually of mixed waste plastics otherwise destined for a landfill or incineration. Production is expected to begin in 2023.
Approximately 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced each year. Both Honeywell and TotalEnergies have made commitments to address the issue of plastic waste and help build a more circular and sustainable economy. Last April, Honeywell committed to carbon neutral operations by 2035 by increasing its share of renewable energy consumption, improving energy efficiency, and remediating land. TotalEnergies has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by eliminating gas flaring and venting and powering their operations with renewables.
Valerie Goff, Senior Vice President, Polymers at TotalEnergies, commented:
“We are pleased to partner with Honeywell to tackle the issue of plastic waste through the development of advanced plastic recycling, and thereby the circular economy, one of the pillars of sustainable development. This project…will contribute to meeting our ambition of producing 30% recycled and renewable polymers by 2030.
Ben Owens, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology solutions, added:
“Plastics demand will continue to grow, so it’s critical to create a linkage between waste management and plastics production to strengthen a circular flow of plastics. The relationship with TotalEnergies will provide a strong recycled polymer feedstock offtake partner and coupled with our recently announced advanced recycling plant with Sacyr, Honeywell is leading the drive toward a more circular plastics economy.”