NOVA Chemicals Corporation (NOVA Chemicals), a producer of chemicals and plastic resins, announced a long-term agreement with Canadian plastics recycler Merlin Plastics Supply Inc. (Merlin Plastics) to increase the supply of high-quality, post-consumer recyclate (PCR) for consumer packaging. This marks NOVA Chemicals’ entry to the PCR market.

“Plastic has great value and is essential to modern life. NOVA Chemicals is committed to finding new ways to capture its value beyond its first use to drive a plastics circular economy,” says Luis Sierra, president and CEO, NOVA Chemicals. “This partnership with Merlin and our forthcoming suite of PCR-containing resins will help meet our customer and brand owner needs and expand high-quality PCR supply for use in consumer packaging.”

The partnership aims to turn high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic recyclate into resin for use in everyday products and packaging including food applications. Finding technical solutions to improve the quality and consistency of PCR will help to advance a circular economy.

“We are excited to combine our three decades of recycling experience with NOVA Chemicals’ industry knowledge and technical expertise to expand the supply of high-value polyethylene PCR in the marketplace,” says Tony Moucachen, president, Merlin Plastics. “With this agreement, we will be able to turn more recycled plastic packaging into valuable new source material for consumer products and packaging.”

NOVA Chemicals is providing financing for a multimillion-dollar project to accelerate Merlin’s expansion into PCR for food contact applications and, in turn, will secure a reliable supply to offer to its customers. Ultimately, NOVA Chemicals says it plans to offer 100% PCR polyethylene and PCR blended with its virgin grades, including high-quality LLDPE, LDPE and HDPE.

 “We expect demand for PCR to increase tenfold in the next five years based on brand owner sustainability commitments,” says Greg DeKunder, vice president, marketing, NOVA Chemicals.

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