Neste successfully processed 400 tons of liquefied plastic waste at its refinery in Finland this fall, an amount corresponding to the annual amount of plastic waste generated by 20,000 average European citizens. This was the first time Neste processed liquefied waste plastic at an industrial scale.
During the run, packaging and mixed waste plastics were upgraded into high-quality recycled feedstock for petrochemical industry uses, e.g. for the production of new plastics.
The processing run marks a milestone with regards to Neste’s strategic aims of driving circular economy and replacing crude oil use at its own refineries. Neste’s target is to process more than 1 million tons of waste plastic annually from 2030 onwards.
Neste aims to increase the volumes of liquefied waste plastic processing gradually to continue learning and developing the value chains and processing technologies. Next processing runs at Neste’s fossil oil refinery in Porvoo are already being prepared for 2021.
Prior to the trial, Neste carried out extensive research and laboratory tests in addition to conducting comprehensive analyses with regards to production assets and processes to ensure the feasibility and safety of processing this new recycled raw material.
In the sourcing of liquefied waste plastic for the first processing run, Neste was supported by its partner Ravago. Together with Ravago and several other plastics value chain partners, Neste is developing chemical recycling technologies and capacity to enable recycling of plastic waste streams that are considered unsuitable for mechanical recycling and are currently destined for incineration or landfills.
Developing ecosystems to chemically recycle plastic waste supports the global efforts to reduce plastic waste, which can help prevent littering of the environment.