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The facility is forecast to begin producing recycled polyethylene at commercial scale by 2025.

Posted by Staff

July 18, 2023

2 Min Read
aerial view of Connersville, IN, recycling plant
Image courtesy of Nova Chemicals

Nova Chemicals Corp. announced today that it has invested in its first mechanical recycling facility in Connersville, IN, part of a projected $2 to $4 billion spend by 2030 in sustainability initiatives. The facility, operated by Novolex Holdings LLC, will process post-consumer plastic film for use in Nova’s Syndigo line of recycled polyethylene (rPE).

post-consumer recycled plastic

More than 100 million pounds of recycled polyethylene are expected to flow from the mechanical recycling facility starting in 2026.

Nova expects to produce rPE at commercial scale at the facility as soon as 2025, when a first line will be in operation. By the first quarter of 2026, it plans to have four lines running, delivering more than 100 million pounds of rPE to the market.

The existing 1.7-million-square-foot plant was formerly used to manufacture automotive parts and for cabinet making. The new recycling facility will occupy about 450,000 square feet, according to Nova.

Approximately 125 people will be hired, making Nova one of Connersville’s largest private employers. Nova said the site was selected because of its proximity to five metropolitan areas in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois, and conveniant rail access for distribution of the rPE to customers. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. provided tax incentives and grants.

Calgary-based Nova Chemicals plans to expand its recycling footprint over the next several years to help reach its goal of 30% recycled content as a share of its total polyethylene sales. The company laid out its aspirations in the 2030 Roadmap to Sustainability Leadership, which it hopes to achieve by expanding its portfolio of sustainable products, decarbonizing its assets, and building a state-of-the-art mechanical recycling business while exploring new advanced recycling technologies.

Novolex, which will run the recycling facility, is a developer of packaging products for the foodservice and industrial markets. It has more than 15 years of experience operating plastic film recycling facilities.

“Novolex is proud to collaborate with Nova Chemicals’ Circular Solutions and is excited by the opportunity to operate this state-of-the art recycling facility in the Hoosier state,” said Novolex Chairman and CEO, Stanley Bikulege. “Indiana has long been a hub for sustainability, innovation, and business. The new plant will build on our experience of operating both our North Vernon plastics recycling facility in Indiana and our recycling plant in Wisconsin as well as accelerate our commitment to support recycling and the circular economy.”

Nova Chemicals President and CEO Roger Kearns added, “We are committed to helping our customers achieve their recycled content goals through a variety of business models, and we look forward to making more announcements like this as we work to enable a low-carbon, zero-plastic-waste future.”

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