Eni signed an agreement with COREPLA, Italy's national consortium for the collection, recycling and recovery of plastic packaging, to launch research projects to produce hydrogen from non-recyclable plastic packaging waste, Eni announced in a statement on Friday.
As part of the agreement, a joint working group will be defined that will, over the next six months, assess the launch of research projects to produce hydrogen and high-quality biofuels from plastic waste.
"The working group will analyze how the market of non-mechanically recyclable packaging will evolve in the next few years. They will study the types of waste that can be used to develop a positive, innovative circular economy process and maximize recovery, in line with new EU directives," the company said.
The European Union's (EU) environmental policy is part of Europe's transition towards a circular economy, and will also contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, the global climate commitments and the EU's industrial policy objectives, according to the European Commission.
The EU's strategy aims to help protect the environment, reduce marine litter, greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on imported fossil fuels. It also supports more sustainable and safer consumption and production patterns for plastics.
According to Eni’s statement, in sorted waste, plastic packaging is separated and sent to be recycled so it can be reused, mostly by transforming it into chips or grains, which then become raw material for creating new products. But not everything can be recycled. Plasmix is the collective name for the different plastics in used packaging that currently have no use in the market of recycling.
"Almost all of it goes towards energy recovery, apart from a small fraction that ends up in landfill. With the agreement, some of it can instead be recycled and transformed into new raw material," the statement read.
By Gulsen Cagatay