ExxonMobil is making strides with industrial-scale deployment of its advanced recycling technology, most recently with its first commercial sale of certified circular polymers. The buyer is Berry Global.
Berry, a global supplier of packaging and engineered products, which will use the polymers to manufacture containers for high-performance food-grade packaging. The polymers are produced using plastic waste processed at ExxonMobil’s advanced recycling facility in Baytown, TX.
The Baytown facility uses ExxonMobil’s Exxtend advanced recycling technology. Since beginning operations in 2021, Baytown has processed more than 4 million pounds of plastic waste.
ExxonMobil’s Baytown facility, among others, has been certified using the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus (ISCC PLUS) process. ISCC certification assures the circularity of products based on advanced recycling using mass balance attribution of plastic waste.
According to ExxonMobil, the performance of its certified circular polymers is identical to that of virgin material, and the recycled polymers retain their performance throughout multiple recycling loops.
“We are scaling up our advanced recycling capabilities around the world to manufacture more circular products for our customers,” says Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical, in a prepared statement. “Our Exxtend technology helps us meet the growing demand for certified circular polymers, particularly in food-contact applications, where plastic products provide key sustainability benefits.”
Berry’s purchase of ExxonMobil’s circular polymers augments two commercial purchases of polymers created via advanced recycling that Berry made in 2021.
In November, Berry signed an agreement with PureCycle, in which that advanced recycler will provide Berry with virgin-like recycled polypropylene. A few months earlier, an agreement with Borealis gives Berry access to circular polyolefins made from chemical recycling.
“We have ambitious sustainable packaging goals that include achieving 30% circular content across our fast-moving consumer goods packaging by 2030,” says Tarun Manroa, chief strategy officer of Berry Global. “Advanced recycling can help our customers meet their sustainability goals and accelerate the move to a more circular economy. Collaboration across the value chain is critical to achieving this.”
With demand for certified circular plastics growing, ExxonMobil plans to boost its global advanced recycling capacity to approximately 1 billion pounds per year by the end of 2026. The Baytown facility alone will be able to recycle 30,000 metric tons/33,069 tons of plastic waste per year when its expansion is completed later this year.