Neste and ILLIG to showcase more sustainable solutions for thermoformed plastic packaging through demonstration cases
Neste Corporation, Press Release, 28 February 2023 at 9.00 a.m. (EET)
Photo: Jürgen Lochner, CSO/CTO at ILLIG and Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste. Source: Neste
- Neste and ILLIG to build demonstration cases to showcase the benefits and feasibility of more sustainable solutions for thermoformed plastic packaging
- The cooperation targets an acceleration in the shift away from fossil resources and to renewable and recycled materials
Neste and ILLIG have entered into a strategic partnership to advance the use of more sustainable solutions in the production of thermoformed plastic packaging through demonstration cases. Such cases aim to verify the drop-in nature of renewable and recycled materials for demanding applications – by recreating value chains on a small scale for demonstration purposes.
The partners combine Neste’s expertise in providing renewable and recycled materials for polymers production and ILLIG’s expertise in manufacturing thermoforming systems to create practical showcases. Inviting additional partners for individual cases, the showcases are to demonstrate that plastics made from more sustainable raw materials can be further processed within the already existing infrastructure similarly to those produced purely from fossil resources, resulting in products of equal quality and with properties meeting regulatory requirements.
In spring 2022 and together with companies LyondellBasell and Fernholz, the project participants already successfully ran a feasibility study along the value chain turning renewable Neste RE™ feedstock into polypropylene with measurable C14 bio-based content. The study showed that further processing steps along the value chain – including cracking, polymerisation, sheet extrusion and thermoforming – could be performed without any deviations from processing fossil raw materials. The four companies presented their joint project at 2022’s K fair in Düsseldorf with a live demonstration of the thermoforming.
As part of the new cooperation agreement, ILLIG and Neste now intend to conduct similar demonstration case studies to promote the usage of renewable feedstock like Neste RE especially in demanding applications such as packaging suited for food contact or technical applications such as consumer electronics. Such studies could explore the manufacturing of packaging with varying measurable C14 bio-based content, but also include packaging produced with recycled raw materials leveraging Neste’s capabilities in chemical recycling to create circular plastics value chains. To recreate entire value chains, additional partners will be invited to join individual cases. Over the course of the studies, processes, facilities and machinery used will be closely monitored and analyzed to provide new insight into the quality and property of products and the performance of value chain infrastructure.
“Renewable and recycled raw materials for polymers such as Neste RE are already being used today to reduce the sector’s reliance on fossil resources. It’s now a question of scaling up their share to make a bigger positive sustainability impact,” says Jeroen Verhoeven, Vice President Value Chain Development at Neste’s Renewable Polymers and Chemicals business unit. “Together with ILLIG, we can verify the drop-in nature of our solutions and the shift to more sustainable raw materials in the production processes in very practical demonstration cases, which can serve as blueprints for large-scale and real value chains. Our goal is to demonstrate what’s possible already today to promote these solutions in the industry. By demonstrating the feasibility of renewable and recycled materials along value chains in demonstration cases, we can foster their acceptance on a larger scale.”
“We work together with our partners, customers and their customers in our Techn Center on a daily basis to work towards renewable and circular solutions,” says Sven Engelmann, Director of ILLIG Technology Center and Packaging Development. “The partnership with Neste is a major driver in achieving that goal.”
Vice President, Communications
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Neste in brief
Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. We refine waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. We are the world’s leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel and developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. We aim at helping customers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with our renewable and circular solutions by at least 20 million tons annually by 2030. Our ambition is to make the Porvoo oil refinery in Finland the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030. We are introducing renewable and recycled raw materials such as liquefied waste plastic as refinery raw materials. We have committed to reaching carbon-neutral production by 2035, and we will reduce the carbon emission intensity of sold products by 50% by 2040. We also have set high standards for biodiversity, human rights and supply chain. We have consistently been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies. In 2022, Neste's revenue stood at EUR 25.7 billion. Read more: neste.com
ILLIG in brief
ILLIG is a leading global supplier of thermoforming and packaging systems as well as tool systems for cardboard, paper and plastics. The company's product and services portfolio includes the development, design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of complex production lines and components. With its unique approach to packaging development, “Pactivity® 360”, ILLIG supplies its customers with resource-friendly and sustainable solutions. With its subsidiaries and sales agencies, ILLIG is active in all markets around the world. For more than 75 years, the family business has been serving its customers as a reliable partner for the cost-effective manufacturing of complex precision packaging and parts with innovative technology of unsurpassed quality and comprehensive global service.