Renewably-sourced, biobased polypropylene a realty?

07.06.2018

Sweden’s IKEA and Finland-based Neste have collaborated on the development of biobased polyproylene. Successfully, the companies say.

nTheir PP is based on renewable residue and waste raw materials, such as used cooking oil, as well as sustainably-produced vegetable oils. The pilot at commercial scale starts during fall 2018. It will be the first large-scale production of renewable, bio-based polypropylene plastic globally.

IKEA wants to have a positive impact on people and the planet while growing the business, which includes using more renewable and recycled materials and explore new materials for IKEA products. As part of this journey, IKEA is working to change all of the plastic used in IKEA products to plastic based on recycled and/or renewable materials by 2030.
In this way, the company aims to secure the production for the future, and eliminate the need for the use of fossil-based feedstocks.

The collaboration between IKEA and Neste was initiated in 2016. Thanks to this collaboration, IKEA and Neste are produce renewably-sourced polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) plastic, two of the most commonly used plastics.

“This new material represents a significant step towards a fossil free future. No one has ever before been able to produce PP plastic from a fossil-free raw material other than on a laboratory scale. Together with Neste, we are ensuring that there is an opportunity to scale up the production of this material”, says Erik Ljungblad, Category Manager Plastic Products at IKEA of Sweden.

“The production of bio-based plastics at a commercial scale is a major achievement in the cooperation between Neste and IKEA, while it also marks a significant milestone in Neste’s strategy. IKEA is the first company to benefit from the developed supply capability that helps companies and brand owners towards replacing fossil-based raw materials with sustainable bio-based raw materials,” says Senior Vice President Tuomas Hyyryläinen from Neste’s Emerging Businesses business unit.

The pilot at commercial scale of PP and PE plastic, chosen to contain 20 percent renewable content, will start during fall 2018. The production of bio-based plastics will be based on Neste’s 100 percent renewable hydrocarbons. IKEA will use the new plastic in products that are part of the current product range, such as plastic storage boxes, starting with a limited number of products. As capacities improve, more products will follow.

http://www.neste.com