LyondellBasell and Neste have produced bio-based polypropylene and low-density polyethylene at commercial scale.

The partnership produced several thousand tonnes of the bio-based products at LyondellBasell’s Wesseling facility using Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons, which are derived from sustainable raw materials such as waste and residue oils.

The materials are marketed under Circulen and Circulen Plus, respectively, and have received approval for use in food packaging.

LyondellBasell olefins and polyolefins Europe, Asia and international senior vice-president Richard Roudeix said: “LyondellBasell has an innovative spirit that spans decades, and achievement like this showcases concrete actions we are taking in support of a circular economy.

“Through the use of renewable resources, we are contributing to the fight against climate change and helping our customers achieve their environmental targets.”

The materials were tested by an independent third party using carbon tracers. The audit confirmed that the products contained more than 30% renewable content.

LyondellBasell piloted the products in collaboration with multiple customers, including Cofresco. This foodservice company will use the Circulen Plus bio-based polyethylene to create sustainable food packaging materials.

Neste president and CEO Peter Vanacker said: “It is very satisfying to see Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons performing perfectly in commercial-scale production of bio-based polymers, providing a drop-in replacement option to fossil materials.

“This pioneering collaboration with LyondellBasell marks a major milestone in the commercialisation of Neste’s renewable polymers and chemicals business focusing on developing renewable and circular solutions for forward-looking sustainable brands.”

In August last year, LyondellBasell acquired plastics material and resin manufacturing company A. Schulman for $2.25bn.