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“World first” plastics recycling plant set up in Flanders

On 27 September 2022, waste treatment company Indaver laid the foundation stone of a new plastics recycling plant in the Antwerp area of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Flanders. The cutting-edge plant is scheduled to be completed by early 2024, creating 70 jobs and clocking in at an investment of EUR 100 million. CEO Paul De Bruycker calls the project “a world first”.

A revolution in sustainable plastics recycling

The investment is poised to become a textbook example of the circular economy. “With this new plant we are going to recycle plastics in a unique way,” says Erik Moerman, director of the new Plastic2Chemicals (P2C) facility. “We will focus on recycling polystyrene and polyolefins. Polystyrene, which can be found in yogurt jars, for example, will be converted into styrene. This styrene is so pure that it can be reused to make a new yogurt jar, with no loss of quality.”

“Polyolefins, on the other hand, are mainly found in plastic foils. They are a group of thermoplastics that include polyethylene and polypropylene. We are also going to remove those chemical components from the foils, allowing chemical companies to make new foils of the same quality with the same basic substances,” Moerman adds.

Indaver strives to close materials loops without loss of quality. With our innovative Plastics2Chemicals project, we can provide basic chemicals for the industry while playing a crucial role in the circular economy. P2C is a revolution in sustainable plastics recycling.

Paul De Bruycker
CEO of Indaver

Unique, patented process

Indaver, a subsidiary of Antwerp-based global logistics player Katoen Natie, plans to operate at full capacity 3 years after the Plastic2Chemicals plant opens. “We will then be recycling 65,000 tons of material per year. This will be the largest plant of its kind in Europe,” says Moerman. “The process we use here is patented. We have worked on it for years, together with specialists from just about all of Flanders’ universities.”

By 2027, Indaver plans to build a second plastics recycling plant, most likely at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges as well, for processing only polyolefins. The plant whose foundation stone has now been laid would be focusing solely on polystyrene by then.

More info

Reported by
newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen, press release Indaver, website Belga News Agency
16 November 2022

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