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ExxonMobil Working to Advance Plastics Recycling in Houston and Beyond

Jenny Heumann Godes

ExxonMobil has developed advanced recycling technology, which, through April 2022, has processed more than 7 million pounds of used plastics at its Baytown facility, near Houston, Texas. Advanced recycling is a manufacturing process that leverages chemistry and technology to convert hard-to-recycle used plastic like films and pouches into high-quality raw materials for making valuable new products, including plastics. 

ExxonMobil Baytown Advanced Recycling Facility
  • By the end of 2022, ExxonMobil’s Baytown operation is projected to be among North America’s largest advanced plastic recycling facilities, with an initial planned capacity to process 30,000 metric tons of plastics each year. 
  • Plans also are under way to build up to 500,000 metric tons of annual advanced recycling capacity globally by year-end 2026, with potential sites in the U.S., as well as in Europe, Canada and Singapore. 
  • In addition, co-processing plastic waste via ExxonMobil’s advanced recycling approach results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than using virgin feedstocks when analyzed on an ISO 14067 feedstock basis (ExxonMobil estimates; cradle-to-process unit outlet boundary).

Beyond developing and scaling advanced recycling technology, ExxonMobil is working to increase the collection of used plastics and to develop markets for certified circular polymers:

ExxonMobil Baytown Advanced Recycling - Bales of Pellets
  • ExxonMobil is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, an organization focused on developing scalable and economically viable solutions to address plastic waste in the environment in communities around the world.
  • To help fill a missing link in the supply chain, ExxonMobil formed a joint venture with Agilyx Corporation, called Cyclyx International LLC, which is focused on innovative solutions to collect, sort and pre-process used plastics for use in both mechanical and advanced recycling processes.
  • ExxonMobil also helped launch the Houston Recycling Collaboration, alongside the City of Houston, LyondellBasell, FCC Environmental Services and Cyclyx, to help expand access to recycling programs for the community and local businesses. 
  • In early 2022, ExxonMobil announced its first commercial sale of certified circular polymers, using its Exxtend™ technology for advanced recycling, to packaging manufacturer Berry Global, which is using the polymers to produce containers for food-grade packaging. 
About the Author
American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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