Ending plastic waste in the environment is a global challenge that cannot be addressed with one single solution or one company alone. Solving the challenge will take innovation from across the global value chain. LyondellBasell is taking an active role in helping to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastic waste by improving the recyclability of plastic packaging.
LyondellBasell, as an integral part of the packaging market’s value chain, has developed a solution to help address the issue. The company’s PolyButene-1 (PB-1) Toppyl solution for easy-open packaging is helping advance the recyclability of polyolefin-based flexible packaging film for meat, cheese, coffee and lidding for ready-to-eat salads and yogurt cups.
“Consumer and customer needs are changing, and LyondellBasell is offering solutions to help drive an effective circular economy for plastics,” said Patrick van Beek, LyondellBasell PB-1 marketing manager in Rotterdam. “As a leader in the flexible film business, we are advancing and improving products people use every day including enabling the material to return to the supply chain. Our goal is to help eliminate plastic waste in the environment and maximize the value of plastics by keeping these resources in use for as long as possible.”
Unlike other packaging applications, Toppyl helps give plastics value beyond their initial use. Other packaging applications often contain several different materials which provide benefits like a longer shelf-life and improved appearance but diminish the recyclability of the packaging. Toppyl offers the same benefits but with the added value of improved recyclability. Additionally, Toppyl has been certified by RecyClass, a recognized cross-value chain initiative for recyclability evaluation protocols, recyclability certifications and recycled content traceability certifications for plastic packaging in Europe.
“RecyClass has certified that blends of LyondellBasell’s PB-1Toppyl product with polyethylene (PE) are fully compatible with the low-density polyethylene recycling stream in Europe, up to a maximum PB-1 content of 7.5% of the entire PE film structure,” Patrick van Beek noted. “This is far beyond the PB-1 content that is typically added today to obtain this ‘easy-open’ feature. Also, the material generated by the recycling process may be used in high-quality applications such as PE blown films up to 25%.”
Solutions like Toppyl are only one step LyondellBasell is making in helping to end plastic waste in the environment. LyondellBasell is committed to efforts like the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) which brings together and focuses the actions and knowledge of plastics producers, consumer goods companies and retailers, as well as waste management companies, around the issue of plastic waste. AEPW’s efforts center around four key pillars – infrastructure development, education and engagement, plastic waste clean-up, and innovation. The innovation pillar is about creating value from all post-use plastic, something to which Toppyl supports along with many other of LyondellBasell’s sustainable solutions.