LyondellBasell facility exterior.

LyondellBasell, a global plastics manufacturer, has made major inroads into the recycling industry in recent years. | Flagmania/Shutterstock

Global plastics producer LyondellBasell has acquired mechanical plastic recycling processing machinery and properties in California from recycling company PreZero.

The transaction includes leasing PreZero’s processing facility in Jurupa Valley, California, which has a production capacity of approximately 50 million pounds per year for recycled materials, according to a Feb. 20 press release. LyondellBasell aims to begin its own operations in 2025. 

“This acquisition further strengthens our U.S. presence and will deliver value for our customers and plastic recycling rates in the West Coast,” said Yvonne van der Laan, LyondellBasell executive vice president for circular and low-carbon solutions. “We will build upon our existing experience in plastic recycling in Europe and deliver a state-of-the-art, mechanical recycling facility to meet growing demand for recycled products in the U.S.”

The Dutch company, one of the world’s biggest chemical and plastic makers, has been making inroads into the mechanical and chemical recycling industries since 2018, including the development of its own chemical recycling technology and partial ownership of a Houston recycling facility also expected to open in 2025

PreZero, which has an international footprint, in recent years made big investments in film and rigids recycling as well, building its own facilities in California and South Carolina. It closed the South Carolina plant in late 2022, saying the facility was underperforming and that the company would concentrate on its California operations. 

“Like so many organizations navigating the worldwide economic environment, we have made the prudent decision to divest certain of our assets to select partners,” PreZero said in a written statement. “We are pleased that LyondellBasell will be good stewards of our mechanical recycling assets in southern California, which we began to wind down last year and have now concluded to focus on our northern California recycling and manufacturing operation. PreZero will continue to focus on our important work to help build a more circular economy.”

This story was updated on Feb. 21 to include comments from PreZero.

A version of this story appeared in Plastics Recycling Update on Feb. 21.

More stories about chemical recycling