First chemical recycling plant to open in Mexico

Circular economy

United Kingdom/Mexico Nestlé Mexico has signed an agreement with UK-based Greenback Recycling Technologies to establish a chemical recycling plant in Mexico capable of processing flexible plastic packaging.

The factory will address the country’s difficulty of recycling post-consumer plastic waste and will aid in the implementation of a circular economy for plastic packaging.

The agreement aims to meet the technological and commercial requirements to assure the circularity of food-grade plastics by focusing on plastic packaging that is not currently recycled, such as multi-layer flexible and aluminum-laminated plastics.

Enval, a chemical recycling firm located in the United Kingdom, will develop an innovative microwave-induced pyrolysis method for the plant. It converts polymers into oil feedstock to create new plastic, effectively closing the loop on packaging recycling and transforming previously unrecyclable packaging into profitable and environmentally acceptable packaging. Furthermore, it is the world’s only technology capable of recycling plastic aluminum laminates by separating them into high-value oil and aluminum with a low-carbon footprint.

In its first year, the ambitious project will recycle around 6,000 tonnes of flexible plastic packaging, with continued expansion in both volume and installed capacity planned over time. Nestlé will also invest in the adaption of Greenback’s eco2Veritas circularity platform to the Mexican waste ecosystem and market, which guarantees comprehensive traceability of the neutralization and recycling process. The Swiss company’s collaboration with Greenback and Enval is in line with its goal of decreasing its plastic footprint while progressing toward a waste-free future.