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SABIC First In Industry To Launch Circular Polycarbonate Produced From Post- Consumer Mixed Plastic, Based On Advanced Recycling

05/08/2021

Home > News & Media > Latest News > SABIC First In Industry To Launch Circular Polycarbonate...

  • SABIC launches certified circular polycarbonate - a first in the industry based on advanced recycling 
  • Another huge milestone in SABIC’s sustainability journey in the industry, based on its TRUCIRCLE™ circular model - upcycling post-consumer mixed plastic
  • Post-consumer mixed plastic is used as feedstock to produce polycarbonate based on the mass balance concept
  • Up to 23% potential reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint compared to incumbent polycarbonate*

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, today announced the launch of its certified circular polycarbonate (PC) resin and blends made from the upcycling of post-consumer mixed plastic - a first in the industry. This solution, based on advanced recycling, demonstrates SABIC’s ongoing commitment to drive towards a circular economy for plastics, by increasing the availability of more sustainable products.

According to an internal SABIC LCA study*, the certified circular polycarbonate offers a potential carbon footprint reduction up to 23% in comparison to its incumbent. 

“In another significant contribution towards the development of a circular economy for plastics, we are proud to have developed a new solution that can help our customers to meet their sustainability targets and generate value by increasing the amount of recycled post-consumer mixed plastic they process,” said Abdullah S. Al-Otaibi, ETP & Market Solution General Manager at SABIC. SABIC is continuously broadening its sustainability offerings, and in ETP (engineering thermoplastics) specifically, new solutions in our polycarbonate portfolio to help support our customers’ increasing needs for circular content and CO2 footprint reduction,” added Al-Otaibi.

Part of SABIC’S TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio of circular solutions, the certified circular polycarbonate is produced through the advanced recycling of post-consumer mixed plastic that could otherwise be destined for incineration or landfill. Through a process called pyrolysis, difficult-to-recycle used plastic is broken down into a liquid called pyrolysis oil. This is then used as a feedstock to create certified circular building blocks for high-performance plastics with the same properties as the virgin material – in this case, polycarbonate. 

Polycarbonate – more specifically LEXAN™ resin – forms part of SABIC’s extensive ETP portfolio including PC blends such as CYCOLOY™ and XENOY™ resins. Customers across industries – such as E&E, Automotive, Healthcare, B&C and Consumer Goods - may use the certified circular polycarbonate under identical process conditions to those used for its incumbent.

The polycarbonate is certified by an independent third party under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) scheme using a standardized mass balance approach, which provides a method of asserting the recycled material content along predefined and transparent rules. In addition, the widely recognized ISCC PLUS accreditation provides traceability along SABIC’s physical-linked supply chain, from the feedstock to the final product, requiring a chain of custody based on the mass balance system.

Launched in 2019, SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio is a considerable milestone on the journey towards closing the loop and creating a circular economy for plastics and intends to provide manufacturers with access to more sustainable materials. The TRUCIRCLE portfolio spans design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular products from feedstock recycling of used plastics, certified renewables products from bio-based feedstock and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and helps prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste.

* Based on an SABIC Internal LCA study that is an extension of an ISO critical-reviewed SABIC LCA study. The study takes into account the impacts arising from diversion of plastic waste from incineration / energy recovery

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