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Plastic hub partners look to boost US recycling rates

Cyclyx International, ExxonMobil and LyondellBasell are building the ‘first-of-its-kind’ plastic waste sorting and processing facility at Houston in Texas. The Cyclyx Circularity Center is scheduled to open doors in 2024 to handle around 150 000 tonnes of scrap per year.

The facility is said to address a ‘critical missing link’ in the plastic waste supply chain by connecting community recycling programmes to advanced recycling technologies that have the potential to take a wider variety of plastic materials. 

The cost of the recycling plant is estimated to be US$ 100 million (EUR 102 million), contingent upon a final investment decision in early 2023.

‘To help increase the overall US recycling rate and meet growing customer demand for circular products, more investment is needed by governments and industry to collect and sort waste,’ says Dave Andrew, vice president of new market development at ExxonMobil.

‘With this new facility, we are making a substantial investment in plastic waste sorting infrastructure to accelerate our advanced recycling efforts in Baytown and along the Gulf Coast.’

‘This project serves as proof of how significant the need is for custom-blended plastics feedstock,’ adds Joe Vaillancourt, ceo of Cyclyx. ‘With our capability to accept and process a wide range of waste plastics based on their chemistry profile which we blend to the needs of our customers, we are creating a new set of recycling options for difficult-to-recycle waste plastics that today are sent to landfill.’

ExxonMobil has recycled more than 6 700 tonnes of plastic waste at its Baytown facility. When expansion is complete later this year, it will be among North America’s largest advanced recycling facilities with a capacity to recycle 30 000 tonnes of plastic waste annually. The company has plans to build up to 500 000 tonnes of recycling capacity across different sites around the world by the end of 2026.

Meanwhile, LyondellBasell is striving to produce and market two million tonnes of recycled and renewable-based polymers annually by 2030. Cyclyx is looking to process more than 650 000 tonnes of waste plastic per year by 2026. Cyclyx says it is focused on its mission to help increase the plastics recycling rate from 10% to 90%.

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