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Polyplastics announces sustainability goals at K 2022

Polyplastics, a global expert in the development and production of engineering thermoplastics, has announced a broad-based sustainability strategy that calls for the company to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050.

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Düsseldorf / NRW / Germany / 03.10.2020: Rainy sunrise in the media harbor. The urban landscape of the city of Düsseldorf. View of the Rheinkniebrücke bridge and the Rhine Tower.

The new set of commitments are aimed at reducing the company’s global environmental footprint and accelerating progress towards a cleaner and healthier world. The company will make the announcement at the upcoming K 2022 exhibition, which runs 19-26 Oct in Düsseldorf, Germany.   

Polyplastics is targeting sustainable technologies across two pillars of activity. First, the company is focused on how its products can enable customers to decarbonise its end products. In addition, Polyplastics is strengthening circularity across a wide range of its own chemical and production processes. 

The drive to a circular economy includes the establishment of two carbon emission reduction goals. By 2030, Polyplastics plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% compared to 2018. The company also targets a 46% reduction in its product carbon footprint (PCF) compared with 2013. 

“We are committed to developing strong partnerships with our customers and other key stakeholders to make the important transition to a sustainable economy,” said Yohei Iizuka, managing director of Polyplastics Europe. “As a leading material supplier, we’ve joined with the rest of the industry in rethinking and redesigning plastics so that we can deliver strong economic, social, and climate benefits.” 

Polyplastics is in the process of increasing its supply capacity to better meet its customers’ growing demand. Although this manufacturing capacity expansion presents a challenge in managing GHG emissions, the company will work to offset these through energy conversion, process streamlining, and the introduction of innovative technologies.  

A key strategy is to develop and offer sustainable product options that customers can utilise to help build a more sustainable future. Among these options, Polyplastics has developed DURACON bG-POM, an acetal which contains sustainable MeOH. Under the ISCC PLUS mass balance approach, the sustainable option is applicable to a broad range of DURACON grades including the DURACON PM line of medical resins.  

Another sustainable option is PLASTRON LFT resin which is made of specially formulated regenerated cellulose fibres. The eco-friendly PLASTRON LFT provides weight reduction plus mechanical strength, enabling manufacturers to reduce their carbon footprint and meet today’s sustainability demands. Eco-friendly resins that incorporate natural fibres, starch, wood powder, and other plant-based and natural mineral fillers are being considered for use in a broader range of applications. Cellulose fibre is a material to help reduce CO2 emissions but its insufficient strength is a limiting factor. Polyplastics uses regenerated cellulose in the development of LFT resins with a balance of physical properties. 

Polyplastics is also jointly examining bio-based options with Daicel Corp., such as cellulose acetate for the production of its CELBLEN EC material, a biodegradable resin sourced from non-edible biomass raw material. 

Polyplastics’ TOPAS cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), a material in the packaging and healthcare industries, is also enabling sustainable packaging solutions. In packaging products, TOPAS COC enables the development of simpler, more recyclable and sustainable solutions. Mono-material film structures based on PE and enhanced with TOPAS COC are more easily recyclable than multi-material solutions using layers of PET or other PE-incompatible plastics. TOPAS COC has been certified as a recyclable polyolefin as part of the EU effort for a circular economy. It has received several independent certifications of recycling compatibility with PE and PP in multiple regions, boosting the general performance of films (less usage) and enabling separation of polyolefin-based shrink sleeves in efficient recycling processes for PET bottles and containers. 

In the product development cycle, Polyplastics will also employ technical solutions to deliver sustainability benefits. For example, topology optimisation through CAE can contribute to part weight reduction. 

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Publication date: 11/10/2022

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This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.