bp and Brightmark to develop plastic waste recycling plants
Photo courtesy of Brightmark

bp and Brightmark to develop plastic waste recycling plants

bp, an international oil company transitioning into an integrated energy company, and Brightmark, a global waste solutions company with a mission to reimagine waste, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly evaluate opportunities for developing the next generation of plastic waste recycling plants in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

The MOU brings together bp’s extensive knowledge and trading experience in refining, and petrochemical markets, with Brightmark’s proprietary advanced recycling technology. The companies will evaluate opportunities for projects that convert end-of-life waste plastics otherwise destined for incineration, landfill, or export, into valuable petrochemical feedstocks for plastics and other industrial applications.

Proprietary plastic waste recycling process

Brightmark’s proprietary plastics waste renewal process recycles plastic waste that has reached the end of its useful life. This includes items not currently recyclable using conventional mechanical processes (types 3-7), such as plastic film, flexible packaging, styrofoam, plastic beverage cups, car seats and children’s toys. Each prospective plastics renewal plant could divert up to 400,000 tonnes a year (kt/yr) of waste plastic to be disposed, to create sustainable products and potentially create 100+ full-time jobs supporting the circular economy.

“Bringing our plastics renewal solution to Europe is a key next step in delivering on our mission to Reimagine Waste and create a circular economy globally,” said Bob Powell, founder and chief executive officer of Brightmark. “bp has been a terrific partner with Brightmark and we’re looking forward to expanding on our combined initiatives to scale our environmentally and economically sustainable circular solutions in Europe.”

“Promoting circularity and unlocking new sources of value are part of our sustainability frame. We are excited to extend our work with the team at Brightmark as we seek to develop new sustainable products and supply chains. Their innovative technology complements our refining and trading businesses while providing opportunities for a more sustainable future, enabling materials to be kept in use for longer,” said Carol Howle, executive vice president trading and shipping, bp.

Brightmark and bp are closely aligned in their approach to the circular economy. bp aims to unlock new sources of value through circularity as set out in its Sustainability Report 2020. Through its plastics renewal projects, Brightmark’s goal over the next five years is to divert 8.4 million tonnes of plastic from landfills and the natural environment and use plastic to produce the feedstock necessary to remake plastics, creating a truly circular solution.

As a first step, Brightmark and bp intend to work together to develop plans that could lead to the construction of an initial European plant.

This new MOU is a further development of the relationship between Brightmark and bp. bp is the offtaker for Brightmark’s landmark 100kt/yr plastics renewal plant in Ashley, Indiana, U.S.A., which is currently undergoing final commissioning. In addition, Brightmark recently announced plans for the world’s largest plastics conversion plant in Macon, Georgia, U.S.A., with a 400 kt/yr capacity.