Sibur explores new ways of recycling plastic

The new Sibur ZapSibNeftekhim plant in Tobolsk, Russia.Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

BEIJING: Russia’s polymer and rubber producer Sibur is in full support of the extended producer responsibility (EPR) mechanism aiming to achieve a circular economy.

The mechanism will help the company structure waste management, and, in turn, will enable Sibur to use more recycled materials in its production.

The Sibur PolyLab Research and Development Centre, serving as the company’s hub for developing and testing sustainable products, has developed polymers made with recycled materials. The company has already produced more than 10 products and is developing more than 50 products with up to 90% recycled material.

Sibur and China’s energy and chemical giant Sinopec are jointly building the Amur Gas Chemical Complex for polypropylene and polyethylene production.

China and Russia, both members of the Global Coalition for Plastics Sustainability, are taking steps to tackle plastic waste through proper recycling and disposal. The two countries will send representatives to the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) aiming to develop an international legally binding treaty on plastic pollution to be held in Ottawa at the end of April.

The implementation of EPR has been discussed at previous sessions of the INC, and in Russia, a law aiming at improving this mechanism was enacted in January this year. The Russian Federation has mandated a gradual increase in the amount of packaging recycled by its manufacturers, and a 100% recycling from 2027.

As an alternative to recycling, companies can choose to pay an environmental levy. The new rules are meant to cut back the amount of non-recyclable plastic, reduce landfill, and raise additional funds to finance the construction of new recycling facilities.

In 2022, the UN Environment Assembly passed a resolution to develop a legally binding instrument that is based on a comprehensive approach and addresses the full life cycle of plastic, including its production, design and disposal. — China Daily/ANN

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