Dow believes that plastic is too valuable to be lost as waste and should be part of a circular economy. From design to disposal, we should retain the value of plastic.
To this end, we are engaged in numerous initiatives to “close the loop” and ensure that no plastic ends up in the environment or is lost to landfill.
At Dow, we strive to make products and promote processes to enable the best environmental performance, mindful of every aspect of a plastic’s lifecycle.
Across the value chain and other industries, we look for ways to make plastic part of a circular economy.
Working with our partner UPM, Dow is turning a waste residue from paper production into naptha, creating an alternative and renewable feedstock for plastics production. This waste product comes from sustainably managed forests - extracted as a residue when separating wood fiber for pulp production. Unlike other alternative renewable feedstocks, no extra land resources are required and there is no competition with the human food chain. This approach is reducing CO2 emissions by more than 50% when compared to standard fossil derived PE resins and the polymers produced as a result are helping packers and converters to meet their sustainability goals.
Dow is partnering with Fuenix for the supply of a new feedstock made from recycled plastic waste, to produce new Dow polymers. The process breaks down mixed waste plastics into their original form to manufacture virgin polymers. The polymers produced will be identical to products from traditional feedstocks and can be used in the same applications.
This suite of products enables the recycling of previously hard to recycle products, for example, those that combine different materials that have traditionally been hard to separate and break down. Dow’s work in this area is now allowing us to recycle a broader mix of plastic waste and allowing recyclers to enhance the quality and therefore value of the recycled material and end application.
Dow is passionate about advancing recycling capabilities. We design products for recyclability. We innovate recycling technologies. We find new ways to incorporate recycled content into the resins we sell. All to increase the amount of plastic recycled and reused worldwide.
In addition, as a founding partner of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Dow helped initiate the Store Drop-Off program for hard-to-recycle plastics in 2017. Today, more than 30,000 products carry the How2Recycle logo.
AGILITY™ CE, the first of Dow’s new polyolefins portfolio to incorporate a percentage of post-consumer plastic waste. It is manufactured for use in shrink films, as secondary packaging for transporting packs of cans or bottles. The material’s formulation consists of a low-density polyethylene (LDPE) compound into which up to 70% postconsumer plastic waste is incorporated, while ensuring the consistency of the material and functionality for its final application.
Our portfolio and activities include:
We’re also helping to develop options for improving the quality of recyclate from flexible packaging defined by: