Shell starts recycling plastics in Louisiana

RecyclingMonster - Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it has started making petrochemical products from recycled plastic waste to eventually help combat the growing fears that the world is drowning in plastics.

The Anglo-Dutch energy giant said it is partnering with Atlanta-based Nexus Fuels to break down hard-to-recycle plastics into a liquid feedstock and then manufacture new high-end petrochemical products. The feedstock was delivered from Nexus to Shell's chemicals plant in Norco, La. outside of New Orleans.

The rising global glut of plastic waste threatens the future of the petrochemical sector and Shell is now investing in recycling technologies, while other companies such as BP and Houston's LyondellBasell are building recycling plants to help address the problems.

 Shell said its goal is to recycle 1 million metric tons of plastic waste a year in its chemical plants by 2025.

“This makes sense for the environment and our business,” said Thomas Casparie, Shell executive vice president of global chemicals.  “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 working with multiple companies globally that collect and transform plastic waste in order to build the scale to address the problem at its chemical plants around the world in North America, Europe and Asia.