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Sabic joins new global alliance to help end plastic waste in the environment

Published: 16 January 2019 - Sarah Mead

SABIC has announced that it will become a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a new non-profit organisation consisting of 27 global companies to advance solutions to help reduce mismanaged plastic waste in the environment.

“Innovative plastics make modern life possible, but even the most beneficial product can be harmful if it is misused – or disposed of improperly,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC CEO. “Consumers, governments and the business community alike are searching for ways to address this challenge. We wanted to make clear that the global community of companies that produce and use plastics can and must be part of the solution.”

The Alliance will be a stand-alone, not-for-profit organization composed of companies from across the plastics and consumer goods value chains including chemicals, plastics and consumer goods producers, retailers, converters and waste management companies. The Alliance will work with governments, multilateral institutions, companies, non-government organizations and communities to support investments and programs over the next five years to help eliminate plastic waste in the environment and drive progress in four key areas:

·  Infrastructure development to manage waste and increase recycling;

·  Innovation to develop and bring to scale new materials and product designs that can minimize waste and new recycling technologies that can create value from all post-use plastics;

·  Education and engagement of governments at all levels, communities, businesses and individuals to enlist them in the movement to help end plastic waste in the environment; and

· Clean up of concentrated areas of waste in the environment, particularly the major conduits of waste that carry land-based waste to the sea like rivers.

“SABIC’s involvement in the Alliance reinforces our long-held commitment to sustainable development,” said Al-Benyan.

SABIC has always striven to be a part of the solution to the world’s sustainability efforts. From its inception in 1976, the company began with an initiative to develop valuable uses for the waste gases that were being flared off as a by-product of oil and gas production.

SABIC is recycling waste from its own manufacturing processes. It operates the world's largest CO2 recovery and purification plant and uses purified CO2 to make fertilisers and other chemical products.

Additionally, a new SABIC project targets the chemical recycling of low-quality, contaminated mixed plastic waste streams into a suitable feedstock for its crackers in Europe. The feedstock, known as pyrolysis oil, is created by converting plastic waste that would otherwise be incinerated for energy recovery or end up in landfills.

“Addressing plastic waste in the environment requires the participation and long-term commitment of all aspects of society, including consumers, manufacturers, technology developers, the finance community, government and civil society. No one country, company nor community can solve this problem on their own,” said Al-Benyan.

“SABIC is pleased to work alongside these entities to help ensure a sustainable environment for future generations.”

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