South Korean life sciences company SK Chemicals has teamed up with Shanghai Yuekun Environmental Protection Technology (Lovere) to drive innovation in the waste plastic sector in China.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding, under which they will jointly develop a waste plastic collection and sorting business in Guangdong province, China.

They will invest to secure waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used as a raw material for circular recycling.

The partnership will bring together SK’s circular recycling technology and Lovere’s collection and sorting system to tackle carbon reduction and waste issues in the country.

The move is part of SK’s wider strategy to become a supplier of plastic recycling solutions to global manufacturers and brands by building recycling clusters and digital solutions.

Lovere meanwhile, a subsidiary of electronic device collection and recycling company ATRenew, collects and recycles 420,000 tons of household waste a year in 37 Chinese cities.

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Joint investments and business commencement are expected to take place next year.

SK CEO Ahn Jae-hyun said: “In a situation where global environmental regulations are steadily strengthening, circular recycling technology is not an option, but a necessity.

“We will not stop at being a company that simply produces recycled plastic materials but will evolve into a company leading the resolution of global environmental issues through the realisation of a closed-loop system.”

Last month, SK announced using 100% of its circular recycled PET resin for manufacturing new packaging for South Korean food company Ottogi’s products.