LyondellBasell aims to produce and sell 2 million metric tons annually of Circulen, its brand of recycled-content plastics, by 2023. | JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock

Polyolefins producing giant LyondellBasell has purchased a 50% stake in a Dutch plastics reclaimer that specializes in producing HDPE and PP flakes. 

Rotterdam, Netherlands-headquartered LyondellBasell announced July 19 it acquired half of Stiphout Industries, which was founded in 2015 and has the capacity to recycle the post-consumer plastic generated by roughly half a million people, according to a press release. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. 

“Investing in Stiphout aligns with our strategy to invest in recycling and plastic waste processing companies that support our existing assets in the Netherlands and Germany and fits with our integrated hub model,” Yvonne van der Laan, LyondellBasell executive vice president of Circular and Low Carbon Solutions, stated in the release.

In 2017, LyondellBasell first bought a 50% stake in Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), a reclaimer located in the Netherlands. At the time, waste management giant Suez bought the other half. In 2020, the companies bought Belgian reclaimer TIVACO, bringing its Belgium operation under the QCP banner and increasing the operation’s recycling capacity. 

Then, in 2021, Veolia reached a deal to merge with Suez, with the Veolia name surviving at operations in mainland Europe. 

More recently, in April 2023, LyondellBasell reached a deal to buy out Veolia’s stake to take 100% ownership of QCP. 

In this latest announcement, van der Laan noted that by owning half of Stiphout Industries, LyondellBasell “can leverage local synergies with our Quality Circular Polymers business in terms of logistics and operations. It also unlocks possibilities to further expand our CirculenRecover portfolio, creating solutions for customers and brand owners in support of their circular and low-carbon targets.” 

CirculenRecover is the name of the portfolio of recycled-content plastics LyondellBasell markets under the large Circulen brand, which includes recycled and “renewable based” plastics. LyondellBasell’s goal is to produce and sell 2 million metric tons of Circulen polymers annually by 2030. 

The company failed to hit an interim target last year, according to a financial disclosure. The company sold 80,000 tons of Circulen polymers in 2022. The goal had been 150,000 tons.

The company says it will pursue joint ventures around the world to build more post-consumer plastics recycling capacity. To fund those and other projects, the company issued half a billion dollars in green bonds. 

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Bruno Folcieri