Speaker insights from Mura Technology and Ineos Styrolution


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About Chemical Recycling

Ahead of the Chemical Recycling conference we took the opportunity to gather industry insights from our expert speakers. This week we spoke to our conference sponsors Oliver Borek from Mura Technology and Sven Riechers from Ineos Styrolution, who will speaking from our 'Exploring Chemical Recycling Technologies' session. They gave insight into the plastics recycling industry and what they will be speaking about in November.  

 We asked them about their current role, insight into the plastics recycling industry and what they will be speaking about at the Chemical Recycling conference in November.

3 - 4 November, 2020 | Hamburg, Germany

Sven Riechers
Vice President, Business Management, Standard Products EMEA,

Oliver Borek
Managing Director, Continental Europe,

Please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?

Oliver Borek: I am the Commercial Manager and the CEO of the Continental European business unit at Mura Technology. As an innovative chemical recycler, Mura are focussing on delivering Cat-HTR™ facilities into key European locations to meet demand and integrate waste infrastructures, providing increased capacity to recycle plastics with focus on hard-to-recycle polymers. My role is to identify potential to develop as part of a larger European project, directing commercial discussion and managing development.

Sven Riechers: I am responsible for INEOS Styrolution’s Polystyrene and ABS business in EMEA. My main focus currently is to drive solutions forward aiming at a circular economy for styrenics.

How do you see the plastics recycling industry developing and growing in the next three-to-five years?

Oliver Borek: As the volume of plastic waste escalates and demand increases for new means of recycling to capture all plastic types at commercial scale, I certainly see the Chemical Recycling sector as the solution to drive forward innovation within the industry. With updates to regulation to encompass new technologies, Chemical Recycling would become mainstream, reaching technical and commercial maturity, resulting in a much wider scope for recyclable plastics, less draw on fossil resource and a circular economy for plastics. Traditional mechanical and chemical recycling would sit alongside each other in a complementary model, and go hand-in-hand with a reduction in the use of unnecessary single-use plastics.

Sven Riechers: Most of our customers have their own sustainability goals. I am convinced that manufacturers who are not able to help their customers to achieve these goals with recycling solutions or other innovative approaches will encounter significant challenges within a few years.

What challenges do you currently face in the industry and how do you think these could be resolved in the future?

Oliver Borek: Regulation around recycling is currently outdated, and does not match pace with the development of the chemical recycling sector and the technologies within it. Traditional mechanical recycling is only able to recycle certain polymer types, leaving much of the remaining plastics, made up of multi-layer and flexible materials, in particular post-consumer plastics, to go to landfill or incineration. Regulation needs to be updated to identify process such as Cat-HTR™ as a form of recycling, and thus included in recycling frameworks, enabling a higher quantity of plastics recycled.

Sven Riechers: Chemical recycling works well with polymers such as polystyrene. To achieve this, a regulatory framework supporting our initiatives needs to be developed; mandatory collection of all plastics as well as the acceptance of chemical recycling by regulatory authorities is crucial. We are confident that this will happen. We are already seeing increased collection of plastics waste including polystyrene as well as the development and expansion of state-of-the-art polystyrene sorting technologies.

You will be speaking at the Chemical Recycling Conference 2020, could you give us a little preview on what you will be talking about?

Oliver Borek: I will be outlining the benefits of our Cat-HTR™ technology, which is different from pyrolysis in that it uses water as the ‘agent of change’ to break down the polymeric structure of plastic, returning it to its original building blocks for use in the manufacture of new, virgin-grade plastic feedstocks - as opposed to pyrolysis which uses heat in the absence of oxygen. I will be highlighting Cat-HTR™s ability to scale and operate efficiently at commercial level. Additionally, I will use Germany as a case study to describe how Cat-HTR™ would fit into the current waste disposal scheme and the efficiencies it could produce.

Sven Riechers: You can expect me to talk about INEOS Styrolution’s efforts in chemical recycling, as well as our work as a member of industry associations such as SCS and as a member of the INEOS Group.

Lastly, if you had to be one type of plastic, what would you be and why?

Sven Riechers: Polystyrene is a versatile, aesthetic and durable material. It allows for a wide range of recycling solutions including mechanical recycling and several sophisticated recycling options like e.g. depolymerisation. I certainly want to be polystyrene. It is encouraging to know that you will be re-born after every life.

The Chemical Recycling conference launches in Hamburg, Germany from 3 - 4 November, 2020. This conference will bring together expert speakers from across the supply chain to address the viewpoints of recycling groups on how chemical recycling will find its place in the market and its viability for commercialisation. Key areas of focus will also include the range of technologies available for chemical recycling and their impact on the wider environment, as well as how chemical recycling is expected to aid in meeting national and international plastics recycling targets.   

In addition to the busy programme of presentations from leading stakeholders in the market, the conference will offer extensive networking opportunities in a focused exhibition area featuring displays from a range of suppliers.

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Chemical Recycling