Blockchain Traceability for Recycled Plastic Waste Revealed

TotalEnergies, Circulor, Innovate UK, and Recycling Technologies partnership will embed blockchain technology into the advanced recycling value chain.

PlasticsToday Staff

August 12, 2021

4 Min Read
Image courtesy of denisismagilova/Adobe Stock

Several advanced recycling stakeholders are turning to blockchain technology to enable value chain traceability and visibility.

Circulor, a leading provider of sustainable supply chain and dynamic carbon dioxide traceability, announced a partnership with the broad energy company, TotalEnergies, and Recycling Technologies, a chemical recycler of plastic, to develop a blockchain-enabled traceability solution for Hard-to-Recycle Plastics (HTRP). The project is being assisted by financing from Innovate UK.

Project TRACKCYCLE will embed blockchain technology into the advanced recycling value chain, with the aim of providing a fully traceable and accurately labelled record of recycled materials, from the waste sourcing up to the use of recycled polymers in new production streams. This will provide all the stakeholders in the polymers industry with visibility of the provenance and quality of the materials entering and exiting their facilities.

As part of the project, TotalEnergies and Recycling Technologies teams will leverage their industrial and R&D expertise to improve the traceability of feedstock from post-consumer plastic wastes used in the production of recycled polymers. The consortium will work closely with several plastic waste suppliers, including a multinational fast-moving consumer goods company (FMCG) company that provides post-industrial waste.

The UK Government is introducing a plastic packaging tax next year on packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic, while the European Union will introduce a packaging levy. Both these initiatives further exemplify the need for accurate information on plastic recycling and its use in new materials.

“We are on a mission to make the world’s most complex industrial supply chains more transparent in order to prevent the exploitation of our planet,” says Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, CEO of Circulor. “We all contribute to plastic waste on a daily basis and Circulor’s traceability platform will play an important role in introducing visibility where it is currently lacking.”

“This collaboration with Circulor and Recycling Technologies is an excellent example of innovation to develop more traceable recycled polymers,” says Valérie Goff, Senior Vice President Polymers at TotalEnergies. “It reinforces our commitment to move advanced recycling forward and contributes to our ambition of producing 30% recycled and renewable polymers by 2030.”

 “We believe this project will bring about the benefits of linking inbound waste provenance with outbound quality and destination for each unit of Plaxx produced,” says Adrian Griffiths, CEO of Recycling Technologies. “Full transparency is key to gain trust, incentivise sustainable practises and provide stakeholders with an optimised supply and logistics value chain, contributing to increased recycling rates.”

About the partners.

Circulor enables businesses to fully analyse, track and manage their supply chains to support responsible sourcing and improve sustainability. It does this by providing an enterprise software platform, which creates a reliable chain of custody of materials and attaches sustainability and other ESG data to that flow of materials.

TotalEnergies is a broad energy company that produces and markets energies on a global scale: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables, and electricity. Our 105,000 employees are committed to energy that is ever more affordable, clean, reliable, and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, TotalEnergies puts sustainable development in all its dimensions at the heart of its projects and operations to contribute to the well-being of people.

Recycling Technologies is on a mission to accelerate the evolution of plastic into a more sustainable material. Currently, 88% of the plastic used in the world is either buried, burned or leaked into the environment, according to McKinsey & Co. (“How Plastics-Waste Recycling Could Transform the Chemical Industry”) This means that the world recycles only 12% of the 359 million tonnes of plastic produced each year, notes Plastics Europe (“Plastics the facts 2019).  Recycling Technologies, a research, engineering, and manufacturing company, has developed innovative technologies to turn hard-to-recycle plastic waste including polystyrene and flexible packaging into feedstocks for new plastic production. Our first commercial product, the RT7000, is modular and small-scale, designed to fit easily onto existing waste treatment and recycling sites, providing a scalable solution to recycle waste plastic anywhere in the world.

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. It connects businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.

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