Eni's chemical company Versalis has started using packaging made from recycled raw materials from post-consumer industrial packaging. Packaging is the main sector in which plastics are used, accounting for 40.5% of total demand in Europe. If designed for single use, they quickly generate waste which, if not properly managed and treated, risks being dispersed into the environment. For this reason, Versalis has set up two projects, "Bag to Bag" and "Liner to Liner", with which it aims to create a virtuous circle aimed at recovering and recycling industrial polyethylene packaging bags and putting them back into the system.
The "Bag to Bag" project uses sacks from packaging and shipping polyethylene products, including those intended for food applications. These sacks are made from 50% recycled materials and are also fully recyclable, thanks to a design specifically developed to reduce the use of ink in labelling. The project has passed the test phase according to specifications at all Versalis operating sites. It has been in use at the Ragusa and Ferrara plants for some months now, and by the end of the year will also be operational at Brindisi and at the Dunkirk and Oberhausen plants.
The "Liner to Liner" project, developed and applied mainly at the Brindisi site, takes the inner linings (liners) of containers used for transporting bulk polyethylene recycling them into new liners, containing 50% recycled plastic, reused at the Apulian industrial site. Thanks to a selection of recycling companies in the area, it will also be possible to build a short supply chain to use, collect, recycle and produce regenerated liners.
Each year Versalis uses around 1250 tonnes of bags and 175 tonnes of liners. The two projects will help reduce the consumption of virgin raw materials by 50% respectively with a consequent reduction in terms of CO2. Versalis joined the Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA) in 2020, signing voluntary commitments, including on single-use industrial packaging, to actively contribute to the ambitious European target of using 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic in new products by 2025.