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Braskem Launches Closed Loop Value Chain for Plastics with Philadelphia Eagles

While many plastics containers and other materials can be recycled, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 million tons of plastic ended up in landfills in 2015.

In 2018, Braskem America launched a nine-year sustainability initiative with the Philadelphia Eagles to implement a closed-loop value chain for polypropylene (PP) material. The circular recycling program is paired with the creation of an educational platform for 30 local Philadelphia-area schools to teach students about STEM career opportunities.

The closed-loop recycling program kicked off its first season by focusing on the collection and reuse of PP bottle caps from the beverages sold at the Eagles’ stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, throughout the team’s season, as well as other stadium events and at the Eagles’ practice facility, NovaCare Complex. Repurposing this material contributed to the production of a 3D printed 8-foot-tall replica of the Vince Lombardi Trophy made from recycled plastics. On display at the stadium, the replica trophy is central to ongoing fan engagement and education.

The program collected more than 300,000 caps in year one, or more than 2,000 pounds of recycled PP. Braskem will scale up this program to include additional plastics coming from stadium operations in year two and onward, and the company will introduce a new closed loop application each year to use the plastics collected through the stadium recycling program.

Through this collaboration, Braskem is educating a large and diverse group of consumers on the importance of recycling and the circular economy by exposing around 70,000 Eagles fans at each game to tangible examples of these synergies. Likewise, engaged students can become ambassadors to friends and family and share information on recycling and the circular economy.

Braskem’s program breaks ground for other companies looking to initiate similar approaches. More than 20 sports teams have expressed interest, as have brand owners, retailers and plastics compounders and converters. Braskem is currently exploring new program ideas with another professional sports team.

By expanding public knowledge on circular economy, Braskem’s goal is that 100 percent of plastic packaging be reused, recycled or recovered by 2040.

About the Author
American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

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