Technological watch

TotalEnergies Corbion & Partners to Develop PLA Recycling Infrastructure in South Korea

TotalEnergies Corbion, POSCO International and ESOL announced a partnership aimed at developing the PLA recycling infrastructure and technology in South Korea. Over the coming years, the partnership will contribute to the Korean Government framework for Carbon Neutrality.
POSCO International aims to enter the bio-based plastic recycling sector as part of its bid to expand its green portfolio. While POSCO International will oversee and finance the project, ESOL is responsible for retrieving the Post Consumer Recycle (PCR) PLA waste and further advance the technology to collect, sort. clean, purify and rework the PLA.
TotalEnergies Corbion will be supporting the project with knowhow and experience in the field of advanced PLA recycling.
PLA: Low Carbon Footprint Alternative to Conventional Plastics
“TotalEnergies Corbion is already supplying Luminy® rPLA, a recycle based PLA, to the South Korean market and creating a local plan to reprocess PLA waste will just accelerate the transition to an even more circular economy”, said Thomas Philipon, TotalEnergies Corbion CEO.
As a low carbon footprint alternative to conventional plastics, the polylactic acid market is rapidly growing. The global bioplastic market is now growing at an annual growth rate of over 20%. The mechanically and advanced recycling of Luminy® will allow PLA to become a material of choice for bottles, containers, and other food service and packaging products. The ability to recycle an already bio-based and low carbon footprint makes PLA an exceptional circular material.
ESOL is a Korean Company which brings to market a large range of PLA based products in Korea. Through its supply chain the company aims to establish a PLA recycling structure, leveraging TotalEnergies Corbion existing advanced recycle technology and infrastructure. With an expected growth of the PLA market in Korean, PLA will contribute for a sustainable use of plastics.
POSCO International executive vice president Lee Sang-hoon, stated "We expect to enhance our ESG business and, furthermore, to help our society to transform to a circular economy."
POSCO International started trading bioplastics in 2019 and has been growing its market power in the bioplastics market ever since. Playing a major role in the eco-friendly conversion of the plastic industry, POSCO International plans to finish developing the PCR of PLA technology by 2026. It also has started a campaign named Green Butterfly with ESOL to promote the retrieval of used PLA.
Source: TotalEnergies Corbion

Publication date: 06/04/2023

Omnexus (news)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.