Advancing a Circular Economy

We believe that transitioning to a circular economy will reduce resource use and enable a more sustainable future. We are advancing technologies and innovations that will help conserve finite resources and retain their value for as long as possible.

Technology Investments

Molecular Recycling

Our molecular recycling technology, MoReTec,helps to address one of the most pressing issues of our time: How to help eliminate plastic waste by giving it a second life? Growing interest in addressing the challenge of ending plastic waste in the environment requires innovative solutions and our MoReTec technology is on its way to becoming one of the solutions that can address at scale the challenge of hard-to-recycle plastics. 

This additional step in advanced recycling will enable us to recycle multilayer and hybrid plastic materials, which can’t be easily recovered by mechanical recycling, and return larger volumes of plastic waste back into the value chain.

  • This technology has the ability to process complex plastic or mixed structures
  • Produces clean feedstock made from recycled materials for new polymer production
  • Enables the production of new materials for applications that must meet strict regulatory requirements such as food packaging and healthcare items
  • Are similar to virgin polymers while offering an environmental value proposition to brand owners around the world
  • Established a molecular recycling pilot plant in Ferrara, Italy, which is processing household plastic waste at a rate of 5 to 10 kg an hour

To learn more about Circulen products made from advanced (molecular) recycling, click here.


Mechanical Recycling 

To create high-quality recycled polymers from household waste with mechanical recycling requires knowledge, capabilities and experience. To achieve these next-level polymers, the recycling process requires a careful selection of polypropylene and polyethylene materials from the waste stream, further treatment and color sorting.

LyondellBasell and SUEZ are joint venture partners in an industry-leading mechanical recycling facility called Quality Circular Polymers (QCP). This joint venture supports our global Circulen product portfolio of circular polymers. 

  • Available in a wide range of colors 
  • Are similar to virgin polymers while offering an environmental value proposition to brand owners around the world 
  • The QCP plant in Geleen (NL) is capable of converting consumer waste into 35,000 tons of recycled polypropylene (r-PP) and recycled high-density polyethylene (r-HDPE)  
  • In December 2020, QCP acquired a second recycling plant in Blandain (BE), capable of processing 22,000 tons of recycled polypropylene (r-PP) 

To learn more about our Circulen products made from mechanical recycling, click here.


Polymers Based on Renewable Feedstock

Working closely with Neste, a leading renewable-based raw material supplier, LyondellBasell is offering a range of CirculenRenew and CirculenRenew Plus polymers made from renewable-based raw materials such as cooking and vegetable oil waste. 

  • A drop in solution delivering the same high-quality properties as virgin plastics 
  • Offering a variety of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (HDPE & LDPE) grades derived from renewable-based raw materials, with a lower CO2 footprint 
  • Certified sustainable content for both a mass balance approach or measurable carbon-14 content 

Explore our Circulen products made from renewable-based feedstock, click here.

Collaboration Across the Supply Chain

Leveraging Renewable Feedstock From Neste

The collaboration between LyondellBasell and Neste, a producer of renewable-based diesel serves a common goal: to create polymers using renewable-based raw materials. This collaboration supports the sustainability goals of many companies around the world. Using more renewable-based and recycled materials for their products. 

In a joint project, Neste’s renewable-based hydrocarbons derived from renewable-based raw materials, such as waste and residue oils were successfully converted into polypropylene and polyethylene. An independent third party tested the polymer products using carbon tracers and confirmed the presence of the renewable-based raw material content. 

To learn more about the collaboration between Neste and LyondellBasell, view the press release here.


Advancing the Recycling Infrastructure  

LyondellBasell is demonstrating its commitment to helping end plastic waste in the environment through multiple efforts focused on advancing the recycling infrastructure and end markets for recycled products.

  • Supporting the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, led by The Recycling Partnership, a new initiative aiming to improve polypropylene recycling infrastructure to make plastic recycling easy and straight forward for consumers.
  • Participating in the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a collaborative that brings sustainable packaging stakeholders together to catalyze actionable improvements to packaging systems and lend an authoritative voice on issues related to packaging sustainability.
  • Investing in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Secondary Sorting Project led by the Plastics Industry Association, along with other industry partners, which captures a broad range of materials from the residential recycling stream that would otherwise ended up in a landfill.
  • Supporting the goals of the Circular Plastics Alliance, launched by the European Commission, through our engagement in the Polyolefins Circular Economy Platform (PCEP). This organization brings together brand owners, retailers, waste management organizations, recyclers, converters and producers to drive a circular polyolefins system by designing out waste, keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible, and then recycling them into high-quality new raw materials.
  • Working with Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF) to improve flexible packaging recovery, recycling and end-use applications. Research sponsored by MRFF demonstrates that recycled flexible packaging can also be successfully used in building products such as roofing materials, railroad ties and plastic pallets.
  • Participating in the NEMO Recycled PE project, specifically with the NEMO Asphalt Working Group, who have initiated research on the use of recycled polyethylene (rPE) film blends in asphalt. LyondellBasell agreed to participate in this research recycled PE film with asphalt in the pavement of one of the parking lots at the Cincinnati Technical Center in the U.S.

Explore our Sustainability Report to learn more about the multiple projects LyondellBasell is taking part in to help end plastic waste.