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SK Chemicals mass-produces chemically recycled plastic in world first

SK Chemicals’ recyclable plastic products under the firm’s brand Ecotria
SK Chemicals’ recyclable plastic products under the firm’s brand Ecotria
In a world first, SK Chemicals has begun mass-producing chemically recycled copolyester, a synthetic plastic widely used in packaging, the firm said Tuesday.

According to the South Korean chemical company, it will produce more than 10,000 metric tons of chemically recycled plastic and supply it to cosmetics brands at home and abroad.

“Not a single company in the world has ever mass-produced plastic via chemical recycling because it requires a secure supply chain of plastic waste as well as a high level of refining and extraction technology,” a company official said.

To ensure a stable supply of raw materials, SK Chemicals in May acquired a 10 percent stake in Shuye, a Chinese firm that specializes in recycling plastic waste. Through the partnership, SK Chemicals secured 20,000 tons of plastic waste and established a production line of copolyester in Ulsan.

SK Chemicals aims to increase the ratio of recyclable products to 50 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030, as demand for eco-friendly packaging is on the rise. L’Oreal, for instance, aims to make a complete shift to recyclable or bio-based packaging materials by 2030.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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