US-based oil major ExxonMobil has announced that it has started operations at a large-scale recycling facility at Baytown, Texas as part of its combined manufacturing complex.
The Baytown facility is notable because it specialises in using state-of-the-art technology to process waste that would typically be sent to landfill sites because it is too challenging to recycle. Thanks to the company’s Exxtend technology, waste like bubble wrap, artificial sports turf, and the containers for Mobil grease and lubricant products can be broken down into useful materials for the circular economy.
ExxonMobil began piloting the technology at Baytown in 2021, and since then, it has processed almost seven thousand tonnes of waste. With the new facility now operating on a commercial scale, it will be able to process about 36,000 tonnes of waste per year. The company also intends to add similar facilities to its other manufacturing sites around the world with the aim of being able to process almost half a million tonnes of waste by the end of 2026.
ExxonMobil Product Solutions Company’s president, Karen McKee, said that now the technology had been proven at the Baytown facility:
“…we’re leveraging our scale and integration to increase production of certified circular plastics to meet growing demand. There is substantial demand for recycled plastics, and advanced recycling can play an important role by breaking down plastics that could not be recycled in traditional, mechanical methods.”
She added that the company is also working with communities, industry, and government to raise recycling rates by increasing the collection and processing of waste plastics.