- The process will use existing refinery operations replacing oil with TACOIL made from waste flexible food packaging to remake virgin plastic for reuse in food and hygiene applications.
- This trial and the evolution of the policy environment in the UK will inform the development of a large-scale advanced recycling plant, which aims to be the first of its kind in the UK.
17 December 2021 – INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe and Plastic Energy have today announced that they are working together on a trial to convert ‘hard to recycle plastic material’, such as flexible packaging, back into ‘food-grade’ quality plastic for use in food packaging, and other high hygiene standard applications.
The companies have come together to launch a preliminary trial in Q1-2022 at the INEOS Grangemouth facility in Scotland. This preliminary trial and the evolution of the policy environment in the UK will inform the development of a large-scale advanced recycling  plant, which aims to be the first of its kind in the UK.
Advanced Recycling creates a closed-loop system for plastics management, helps reduce landfill, prevents plastic from ending up in the environment, and reduces the use of fossil derived raw materials. The circular re-use of ‘end of life’ plastic is a further step to reduce total emissions.
INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe and Plastic Energy have a shared goal to create a world class circular economy value chain in advanced recycling, driving circularity to create the next generation of food-grade recycled content packaging.
Plastic Energy uses its advanced recycling process to convert post-consumer plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incineration, through a pyrolysis process, into a liquid raw material (called TACOIL) for re-use in the next generation of plastic production. TACOIL is used as a replacement for fossil derived materials, to make food-grade and/or medical grade plastics.
The trial will take place in partnership with Petroineos at Grangemouth. It will use the existing refinery operations to process the TACOIL supplied by Plastic Energy, which already operate two recycling plants in Spain.
Plastic Energy’s technology allows for the improvement in circularity of highly demanding labelling, and packaging applications, such as chocolate bars, snacks and biscuits, pet and dry food. The new project is complementary to the existing use of mechanically recycled plastic in INEOS Recycl-IN range of products.
Petroineos will supply the recycled raw material to INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe to be transformed into Certified Circular plastic with the identical properties expected of conventional plastics made from oil and gas.
The partners recognise the need for collaboration to make such innovations sustainable at scale – in the spirit of “SDG#17 Partnerships for the Goals”, each partner contributes complementary skills and expertise that together create the circular value chain.
Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy stated “We are pleased to announce this trial in Scotland, which exemplifies a strong partnership between companies working together to take big strides to reduce plastic waste in the UK. Working with INEOS, we are pleased to see our advanced recycling technology being used as a core component to improve the circularity of packaging.”
Peter Grant, Business Director at INEOS Olefins & Polymers (UK) Europe added “INEOS is delighted to be working with Plastic Energy at Grangemouth (as well as our colleagues in Petroineos) to lead the way on this important reprocessing route. Turning end of life plastic into new food-grade quality packaging products makes environmental and commercial sense. This innovative trial is a further positive step towards eliminating waste and makes circular economy solutions possible. Advanced recycling adds to the existing initiatives within our product portfolio to make greater use of post-consumer material, while ensuring that sustainable solutions meet all safety, quality and performance in-use standards.”
Today’s announcement is a milestone on our journey to implementing this technology at scale. There are many important steps ahead and ultimately, we are all dependent on good waste recovery and recycling systems. The objective is to ensure plastic is recovered for recycling and reuse, giving valuable natural resources a second life, increasing recycling rates, finding solutions for post consumer waste, and therefore driving a circular economy.
 Also known as chemical recycling.
David East (INEOS) 0044 1324 476948 or 0044 7768301709
Richard Longden (INEOS) 0041 21 627 7063 or 0041 7996 26123
Susan Fitzsimons (Plastic Energy) 0044 7557 969 966 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Petroineos operates the Grangemouth Refinery and is a Joint Venture formed between INEOS and PetroChina in 2011. As Scotland’s only crude oil refinery, Petroineos is the primary supplier of aviation fuel for Scotland’s main airports and the major supplier of petrol and diesel across Scotland’s Central Belt, as well as in Northern Ireland and Northern England.
INEOS Olefins & Polymers (UK) Europe operates the petrochemical plants at Grangemouth. The raw materials used by this business present an outlet for North Sea gases, delivered via the co-located Forties Pipeline System. Its finished products of ethylene, propylene, polyethylene, polypropylene and ethanol are used as the building blocks in a multitude of sectors, in the manufacture of everyday household essentials – being transformed into bottles, cabling and insulation, food packaging as well as being extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry.
Plastic Energy is a global leader in chemical recycling, offering a sustainable solution to help prevent plastic pollution, transforming previously unrecyclable plastic waste into a valuable resource. Our patented and proven chemical recycling technology converts end-of-life plastic waste into an optimal feedstock (TACOIL) for making virgin-quality recycled plastics. Plastic Energy currently has two chemical recycling plants that are in constant operation in Spain and is one of the few companies worldwide that has sold TACOIL from the conversion of end-of-life plastic waste to replace fossil oils in the manufacturing of new plastics. We are leading our field in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy for plastics.