Green news: SK Geo Centric to apply blockchain platform for recycled materials; Kraton completes expansion of renewable SBCs in France

SK Geo Centric to apply blockchain platform for recycled materials

SK Geo Centric has introduced South Korea’s first platform utilising blockchain technology for recording and tracking the history of recycled plastic materials. By leveraging the tamper-proof nature of blockchain, it aims to ensure that customers can rest assured when using recycled plastic materials and expand the materials’ range of use.

The recently launched history-management platform for recycled plastic materials by SK Geo Centric records and manages all processes, from the collection of waste plastics to their recycling and transformation into new products, using blockchain technology. Blockchain is a distributed data storage technology where the “blocks” containing data are replicated and stored on multiple computers, and linked like a “chain” to compare and verify each other’s authenticity. It is impossible to forge or alter the data without permission. Therefore, it is being used to increase trust in fields such as cryptocurrencies and financial certifications.

Recycling of waste plastic is gaining the limelight as an alternative solution to environmental pollution, but there are also some doubts about the source and safety of collected waste plastics. In addition, manufacturing companies want to confirm whether the components of parts using recycled materials are suitable for production. Such needs require more advanced information than what the existing ISCC PLUS certification” provides. SK Geo Centric has identified these concerns from client companies and consumers while promoting its plastic recycling business. As a result, it introduced the history-management platform to address these concerns.

The history-management platform records all processes, from securing waste plastics to recycling them into materials, and finally producing the complete product. Intermediate producers and consumers can scan the QR code attached to the product with their smartphones to check the entire recycling history of plastics used for the product. The recycled plastic history information includes the types and sources of the waste plastics used as raw materials, as well as the proportions of each material used to make a new product. Similarly, detailed information needed by intermediate producers, such as the quality grade of a material, is also included. Therefore, the history-management platform can ease the difficulty of getting through the certification process regarding the suitability of recycled materials and reduce the cost required for the process.

The history information of recycled plastic, which can be checked by scanning the QR code, is verified through a non-fungible token (NFT) to confirm its authenticity, and the information can be shared with stakeholders, such as material purchasers, via emails. This platform paves the way to produce products using recycled plastic materials and provide objective proof of those products to customers.

SK Geo Centric expects that systematic history management will enhance the trust in the plastic recycling process and help expand related industries because it can stimulate the market for high-quality waste plastics that are suitable for recycling and harmless to the human body. Moreover, it is also possible to efficiently allocate resources to industrial sites by identifying the demand and quality conditions by material in the plastic recycling market in real-time.

SK Geo Centric plans to start construction of the world’s first integrated plastic recycling complex, the “Ulsan ARC (Advanced Recycle Cluster),” in the second half of this year. The company expects the volume of recycled plastic materials distributed in the market is expected to increase once the complex fully operates. Consequently, it also anticipates that the number of stakeholders in the market seeking material histories will grow.

Kraton completes expansion of renewable SBCs in France

In other news, speciality polymers firm Kraton Corporation has announced the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities in Berre, France, to produce up to 100% ISCC Plus-certified renewable styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) as part of the CirKular+ ReNew Series via mass balance approach. It is said to enable up to 85% cradle-to-gate carbon footprint reduction (including biogenic carbon) compared to fossil-based products manufactured at Berre.

ISCC is an independent multi-stakeholder initiative and leading certification system. ISCC employs a mass balance approach that tracks the amount of recycled or bio-based raw material in a value chain and attributes the amount based on verifiable bookkeeping to a given end product. This approach allows companies and consumers to evaluate the sustainability requirements of materials and products quantitatively.

The CirKular+ ReNew Series are ISCC PLUS Certified renewable polymers, further expanding Kraton's existing suite of solutions designed to advance the circular economy.

In 2022, Kraton successfully produced CirKular+ ReNew Series SBCs at the Berre plant using certified renewable butadiene to enable up to 70% ISCC PLUS certified content. With the recently expanded capability, the ReNew Series can offer up to 100% certified renewable content, including certified renewable styrene, and continues to enable customers to use the mass balance approach to produce renewable products.


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