Shell use plastic waste to produce industrial chemicals

Plastic bottles and other waste are seen in a drain. (Photo by REUTERS)

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has started making petrochemical products from recycled plastic waste to help combat the growing fears of climate change.

Shell on Thursday announced that it has successfully partnered with Atlanta-based Nexus Fuels to break down hard-to-recycle plastics into a liquid feedstock, which can be used in various industrial processes.

The technique, known as pyrolysis, is considered a breakthrough for hard-to-recycle plastics and advances Shell's ambition to use 1 million tonnes of plastic waste a year in its chemicals plants across the world by 2025, according to a statement.

Already, a batch of feedstock from Nexus Fuels has been delivered to Shell's chemical plant in Norco, Louisiana.

While other oil majors like British Petroleum and Houston's LyondellBasell are building recycling plants to address the challenges posed by climate change, Shell is looking to tackle the global glut of plastic waste.

Executive Vice President of Shell Thomas Casparie said, "We want to take waste plastics that are tough to recycle by traditional methods and turn them back into chemicals –- creating a circle. These chemicals will meet our customers' growing demands for high quality and sustainable products."

Shell is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (APEW). The AEPW has committed USD 1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment.

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