Viridor today announced a formal offer to acquire Quantafuel ASA, for c. £90m and provide additional capital to support Quantafuel’s current development projects. The proposed acquisition reflects Viridor’s ambition to lead innovation in the plastics recycling sector and deliver full circularity in all four major plastics by 2025.
Quantafuel’s plastics to liquids process converts waste plastics into a raw material, comparable to virgin fossil fuel derived refined products. This material can be used in the chemicals industry for the production of new plastics.
The technology is particularly effective for plastic films which are notoriously difficult to recycle. Every year nearly 400,000 tonnes of plastic film packaging is placed on the UK consumer market but less than 10% of it is recycled. Current mechanical recycling processes typically lead to a downcycling in quality and are not suitable for use in the food sector due to strict food safety controls. The Quantafuel process is explicitly designed to tackle plastic film waste and the need for a sustainable solution to the recovery, recycling and production of recycled food grade plastic films.
In 2021, Viridor committed to building a fully circular plastics business by 2025 through recycling all four major plastics back to food grade. In 2022, Viridor opened its Avonmouth polymers processing facility converting over 1 billion bottles a year back into new plastics. This proposed acquisition marks continued innovation with the addition of plastic film and chemical recycling, opening up the route towards perpetual plastics recycling.
Kevin Bradshaw, Viridor CEO said; ‘Today marks a critical step on Viridor’s growth journey to build a truly circular plastics economy. Plastics are a key solution in so many aspects of our lives. Advanced recycling processes like Quantafuel’s are essential to ensure those plastics can be recycled again and again. Our proposed acquisition and investment represents the strong commitment both businesses have to ensuring we deliver a better environment’
Plastic packaging accounts for c. 16% of the non-recycled waste stream but account for c. 70% of the fossil carbon emissions from the Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities that process them. Removing plastics from the waste stream and recycling them reduces the climate impact from EfW and displaces virgin plastics reducing the reliance on fossil fuels for plastic manufacture.
Viridor Group Development Director Richard Belfield added: ‘This partnership with Quantafuel will help drive the decarbonisation of our Energy Recovery Facilities by taking plastic wastes away from the non-recycled waste stream and enable us to grow the breadth of our plastic recycling offering. The opportunity to deliver a food grade plastics film solution to the market is an exciting opportunity towards building a world where nothing goes to waste ’
Lars Rosenløv, CEO of Quantafuel added 'Viridor is a good fit and is, just like Quantafuel, determined to play a leading role in transforming the waste sector towards circularity. Plastic waste is one of our time’s most pressing environmental challenges and chemical recycling is key to help solve this. I’m glad that Viridor is eager to position Quantafuel for future growth and take on the next chapter of the company’s journey.'
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