Itero Technologies has been awarded €5 million by the EU’s Just Transition Fund to contribute to its chemical recycling demonstration plant for mixed plastic waste at Brightlands Chemelot Campus.

Using its patented technology, Itero recycles mixed plastic waste into high-value chemical products, which can then be used to produce new plastics. It is anticipated that the new plant will process 27kT of waste plastics every year and divert over 20kT of fossil resources within the same time frame.

According to Itero, the facility’s waste capacity is five times higher than the plastic waste collected by the city of Maastricht every year, and it will offset a daily equivalent of almost 500 barrels of oils used to create plastics. As such, it aims to divert plastic waste away from incineration or landfill while offsetting the use of traditional virgin fossil resources.

Meanwhile, the Just Transition Fund (JTF) aims to unlock low-carbon energy in European regions that currently depend on fossil-based income and employment. It seeks to consider social, economic, and environmental impacts and help facilitate a ‘fair and equitable transition to a climate-neutral economy’.

These goals are set to benefit from the 40 full-time jobs that the plant is expected to create. Its expertise will be based in Limburg, with the presence of circularity-minded business hoped to attract further investment into the region.

Additionally, Plastics Europe reports that 55% of plastic packaging is incinerated in the Netherlands, while residual flows enter the environment and cause harm to ecosystems. A life cycle assessment conducted on behalf of The Consumer Goods Forum suggests that treating mixed plastic waste in a pyrolysis process can reduce global warming potential by 44% compared to incineration.

“We welcome this incredible support from the JTF in helping Itero pursue a low-carbon and circular economy,” said Simon Hansford, CEO at Itero. “Working at Brightlands allows us to move our technology to its next phase with incredible talent, support, and opportunity for sustainable innovation.

“It’s critical that sustainable technology has the right enabling conditions to flourish, this is what Brightlands and the JTF grant are creating for us.”

This investment comes after the previous signing of a commercial realization agreement between Itero Technologies and Brightlands Chemelot Campus.

In related news, OMV recently announced its intent to invest over €170 million into a state-of-the-art, fully automatic sorting plant developed by Interzero. The facility will produce feedstock for chemical recycling at an expected annual capacity of up to 260,000 tonnes.

Amcor and Mondelēz International also signed investment agreements with Licella in a collaborative effort to build what claims to be one of the first advanced recycling facilities in Australia; it hopes to process an annual 12,000 tonnes of end-of-life plastics.

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