Italian chemical company Versalis, a subsidiary of Eni, has entered an agreement with post-consumer plastic recycling company Forever Plast to develop a plastic recycling plant in Porto Marghera, Italy.

Versalis CEO Adriano Alfani and Forever Plast CEO Piersandro Arrighini signed the agreement as part of a project to transform the Porto Marghera industrial site.

Scheduled to come onstream in 2024, the facility will be located in available areas at the petrochemical site of Porto Marghera.

It will have the capacity to recycle 50,000t of pre-sorted waste a year, which will then be used for producing recycled polymer compounds.

Versalis CEO Adriano Alfani said: “With this agreement, we aim to strengthen the transformation of Porto Marghera; a strategic site to achieve our sustainability goals.

“The strength and innovativeness of this technology is in the potential it offers to recycle plastics for the food packaging market, which poses the greatest challenge in reaching circularity, and consolidates our European leadership in polymer recycling.”

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Through this agreement, Versalis has secured an exclusive licence from Forever Plast to develop an advanced mechanical recycling unit for selected post-consumer plastics such as polystyrene and high-density polyethylene.

The licence is expected to expand Versalis’ product portfolio and strengthen its position in the mechanical recycling of polystyrene in Europe.

In addition, the deal includes an extension of Versalis’ contract with Forever Plast, under which the company aims to expand its portfolio of recycled products and bolster its current competitive advantage.

Versalis started building a mechanical recycling plant at Porto Marghera last year after acquiring Ecoplastic’s technology and facilities.

This technology uses a pre-treated, expanded polystyrene-based raw material as feedstock.

Last month, Eni launched two projects via Versalis to improve the circularity of industrial packaging.

The company’s Bag to Bag and Liner to Liner projects aim to collect and recycle industrial polyethylene packaging bags before returning them to the recycling system.