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Circular Economy
Solutions

Dedicated to finding new opportunities for growth in the circular economy

In a world of finite resources, the circular economy model offers a path to reinvent the economy in the interest of natural capital conservation and waste minimisation.

A transition must be made from the linear model of “take-make-dispose” to the circular model of recycling, re-use, and design for recyclability (DfR). For the polyolefins industry, this paradigm shift holds both opportunities and challenges. The move to the circular economy must be made as eco-efficiently as possible but circularity has to be the priority. It requires innovative material solutions and greater cooperation along the entire value chain.

Discovering new opportunities for sustained growth

Borealis Circular Economy Solutions is dedicated to discovering new opportunities for long-term business growth, primarily in the areas of mechanical recycling and design for recyclability. As the first prime polyolefins producer to have acquired a plastics recycler, Borealis has again proven its pioneering, “Keep Discovering” mindset. Together, Borealis and mtm plastics are leveraging their combined expertise and decades of experience to produce more high-quality plastic recyclate.

Over the recent years, mechanical recycling has proven to be effective, and will likely remain the eco-efficient method of choice in the foreseeable future when implementing the principles of the circular economy. Borealis and mtm plastics are bundling their respective fields of know-how and experience – in polymer science, compounding and R&D on the one hand; and mechanical recycling, on the other – to explore the opportunities that arise when virgin producers and recyclers join forces. 

Together, the aim is to upscale recycling output, ensure the better availability of high-quality plastics recyclate for the European market, and ultimately achieve increased polyolefins circularity.

mtm plastics

Based in Niedergebra, Germany, mtm plastics is widely acknowledged as a European technology leader in mixed polyolefin recycling. It is one of the world’s largest producers of recycled polyolefin pellets, with annual regranulate volumes of up to 30,000 metric tons. Its Dipolen® and Purpolen® brands are sold in many European countries as well as in the US and China.

Design for Recyclability

The circular economy opens up new ways to reinvent the economy in the interest of preserving natural capital and minimising waste. Another important aspect of eco-efficient waste stream management is design for recyclability (DfR), which incorporates recycling principles into the design process itself in order to achieve optimised circulation of material for recycling and re-use.

To this end, Borealis is collaborating with value chain partners – designers, retailers, packaging producers and brand owners – to develop material solutions and concepts to improve end-of-life recyclability and the performance properties of recyclate material. Two recent examples illustrating DfR and the Borealis mission of Value Creation through Innovation include: 

  • The Full PE Laminate solution is based on the proprietary Borstar® bimodal polyethylene (PE) technology in combination with machine direction oriented (MDO) processing technology. Once recycled, this full PE solution can be processed into extruded film applications. It thus enables a broader spectrum of second-life options for flexible packaging.
  • Daploy™ HMS PP is based on proprietary Borealis technology. This high melt strength, polypropylene foam material is 100%-recyclable and suitable for a wide range of applications in industries such as automotive and construction, in addition to packaging and food services. The material is ideal for achieving an improved environmental footprint, lighter weight, better thermal properties, and unique haptics.

Value Chain Cooperation

Borealis has assumed a pro-active role in accelerating the move towards the circular economy within the industry and along the entire value chain. The Borealis commitment includes participation in the following international initiatives:

  • Launched by the three associations PlasticsEurope, European Plastic Converters, and European Plastics Recyclers, the Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) unites members of the value chain in a joint effort to establish a circular economy in polyolefin packaging.
  • In 2016, Borealis was the first prime plastics producer to join the New Plastics Economy initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Uniting a broad spectrum of stakeholders, this organisation aims to redesign the future of plastics – starting with packaging. Borealis will use its expertise to drive collaboration across the value chain and help launch ambitious, truly ground-breaking innovations.
  • Borealis is an active member of the new CEFLEX project, successor to the former FIACE and REFLEX. Its mission is to make flexible packaging even more relevant to the circular economy. Collaboration among the consortium members shall result in improved design solutions and new recycling opportunities.
Circular Economy Solutions

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