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Arkema signs an agreement to use recycled materials to manufacture thermoplastic materials

News International-French

9 May 2016

The company signed, alongside Ségolène Royal, French Minister for the environment, energy and the sea, Emmanuel Macron, Minister for the economy, industry and digital affairs, and a further four partners, the Reverplast agreement, a study project looking to introduce recycled materials into the manufacture of new thermoplastic materials for the automotive, boat building and wind power markets.

This project is part of the new measures launched by the French State to assist companies in their circular economy approach based on committing to green growth.

The issues at stake
The linear system sustaining the economy – extracting, manufacturing, consuming, discarding – is now reaching its limits: hence companies have to fight against wasting their resources and so promote the circular economy.

Given the growing scarcity of raw materials, the circular economy goes well beyond mere recycling; it also has to contribute to securing supply to fast growing markets and to minimising extraction at source.

The project
Altuglas PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), or acrylic glass, typically is a material that best meets the circularity criterion, as one of its features is to be reversible, namely able to be regenerated into its original monomer and so be reintroduced into the new "resins" manufacturing process.

Accordingly, the Reverplast project aims to create in Europe an end-of-life PMMA recovery stream to obtain new acrylic "resins". These will then be entered into the composition of thermoplastic composite materials, themselves recyclable, to serve highly promising markets such as wind power, boat building and automotive, as they will replace the thermoset resins currently used, which cannot be recycled.

The partners
This collaborative project is run in partnership with:

  • CANOE, an Aquitaine-based technology platform dedicated to advanced materials
  • PAPREC, a plastics recycling specialist
  • INDRA, leader in the recycling of end-of-life vehicles
  • PLASTINOV, a specialist in the processing of composite materials for the wind power market

The Arkema Group confirms its commitment to ecological and energy transition by encouraging the reuse of products and recycling its wastes. The Group is also looking to bring together a whole chain of upstream and downstream players in some of its relevant key product sectors, as illustrated by this Reverplast project which will be based in part in the Aquitaine Region.

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