09. Feb 2023
Yesterday, LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, Netherlands), a global leader in the chemical industry and KIRKBI (Billund, Denmark), the family-owned holding and investment company of the LEGO® brand, announce they have signed an agreement to make an investment in APK (Merseburg, Germany), which specializes in a unique solvent-based recycling technology for low density polyethylene (LDPE).
APK aims to increase the recycling of multi-layer flexible packaging materials – which today make up the majority of mixed plastic waste from the consumer sector. To this end, APK has developed the unique solvent-based Newcycling® process, which separates the different polymers of multi-layer packaging materials and produces recycled materials with a high degree of purity suitable for new packaging materials.
Under the agreement, LyondellBasell and Kirkbi will become minority shareholders in APK and together with other co-investors will invest approximately EUR 130 million in APK. Further Newcyling Plants are planned to be built to increase the production capacity.
“We need to advance the recycling of all types of plastic waste material generated today to support the goal of a circular economy and meet the increasing demand for high quality recycled products”, says Yvonne van der Laan, LyondellBasell Executive Vice President, Circular and Low Carbon Solutions. “Advancing this technology, through our investment in APK, will enable more plastic packaging waste to be reintroduced back into the value chain and will address the demand from consumers and brand owners for more sustainable packaging. Products made using this unique Newcycling solvent-based technology will be a great complementary addition to our existing Circulen product portfolio, which currently offers mechanical and advanced recycling solutions to our customers”.
“We are happy to announce our investment in APK. Kirkbi believes APK offers a promising scalable technology in LDPE recycling that can help increase the circularity of plastics and minimize plastic waste, to contribute to a more sustainable environment in the future. We look forward to providing strategic, financial, and commercial support while APK establishes technology that will compliment mechanical and chemical recycling”, says Damir Hamzic, Head of the Circular Plastics Investment area in KIRKBI, which focuses on investments that contribute to the transition to a more circular plastics economy.
“Our Newcycling technology makes it possible to close the loop even with complex waste streams and to produce high-quality LDPE recyclates from mixed plastic waste – highly efficient and offering both economic and ecological advantages. We have been proving for years that this is also possible on an industrial scale at our plant in Merseburg”, says Susanne Küppers, Member of the Executive Board of APK AG and Managing Director of APK NCC. “We are pleased to now ignite the next stage and are proud to have LyondellBasell and Kirkbi as two strong supporters at our side, who bring a lot of additional expertise, for example in the areas of polymer design and application know how”.