ExxonMobil Working to Advance Plastics Recycling in Houston and Beyond
Plastics used in a range of consumer products and other applications have traditionally been difficult to recycle, often ending up in landfills or as litter.
Advanced recycling technologies being implemented today at integrated manufacturing facilities can help transform used plastic into valuable materials for new products.
By year-end 2026, ExxonMobil’s investments in advanced recycling technology have the potential to process up to 1 billion pounds annually of used plastics that may have otherwise gone to landfill or incineration.
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.
- 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 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.