Clariant’s new ‘Symphony of Collaboration’ is playing a new tune at K2019, towards innovation and collaboration for sustainability and a circular plastics economy.
From climate change and hunger to ocean health and deforestation the global issues we face in the 21st century require global solutions. And, as research has found over and again, innovation and collaboration are both key. There is, as the World Economic Forum describes, a current “revolution in collaboration for action” and it’s sparking NGO, community, government and business partnerships in many forms.
This is no less the case for the global plastics waste challenge, and speciality chemical company Clariant has announced a new initiative – the ‘Symphony of Collaboration’ – to foster partnerships and create a more sustainable plastics industry.
We know that plastic is integral to our modern, globalized lives yet its sustainability is increasingly under the spotlight. In this context, and within the current growing momentum of collaboration, Clariant’s ‘Symphony of Collaboration’ recognises that regulators, industry and society have a responsibility to work more closely to drive design for, and innovation in, the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastics.
At K2019, Clariant will shine a light on collaborative sustainability projects, and the products behind them, supporting the development of solutions that will be adopted in the market, with a specific focus on recycling. This includes Clariant’s Masterbatches Business Unit imagining a future where design for recycling, reuse, biodegradable polymers and bio-based polymers give customers what they need, the company’s Additives research teams working to increase the use of renewable materials in stabilizers, antioxidants, odor scavengers, compatibilizers, processing aids and lubricants, and the Business Unit Pigments working on colour in plastic packaging in a circular economy world.
Recycling is already recovering large volumes of plastic waste for reintroduction to the marketplace as new packaging but there are still major challenges for increased use of post-consumer resin (PCR).
A key priority is to ensure the attractiveness of virgin PET and, at K2019, Clariant will launch a new masterbatch for PET destined for the food and beverage market. The patented oxygen scavenger is based on a new molecule that goes beyond existing solutions for PET in protecting content shelf life and taste. It’s proving a real success in initial customer trials, offering the potential to address a number of challenges for packaging producers in one solution.
Working together to solve the problems that matter
Also at K2019, Clariant will unveil the results of some of its flourishing partnerships that have already delivered some breakthrough results.
For example, together with the Finnish oil refining company, Neste, which is passionate about giving fat residues and discarded cooking oils a second life, Clariant has been exploring opportunities to use renewable hydrocarbons, derived from this waste.
With another partner, for Near Infrared (NIR) scanners , the company has developed new colorants for the black coloration of plastics, that can be identified by NIR sorting devices. This new range can be used for various polymers (e.g. Polyolefins, PET, PA) and applications such as packaging and E&E, offering brand owners and masterbatch producers new opportunities.
In a further drive for collaboration, Clariant is taking its EcoTain sustainability label, currently awarded to a portfolio of more than 200 products, to the next level. EcoTain is being expanded to include EcoTain Partnerships that will foster collaboration between at least three partners in the value chain, advancing environmental protection and the circular economy. At K 2019, Clariant will issue an open invitation to companies to come together and collaborate specifically on one particularly challenging aspect of recycling.
Opening dialogues from science to solutions
The complexity of the global plastics challenge is far too big for any party to tackle alone and the ‘Symphony of Collaboration’ will open dialogues and spur innovation. Clariant’s Richard Haldimann, Head of Innovation Excellence and Business Incubator, said that the company is proud to be fostering these partnerships across the value chain, from producer to recycler.
Haldimann commented, “We’ve learned from experience that the wider problem can’t be solved at an individual company level. It’s a system problem and collaboration is key.”
Inevitably, as we push the boundaries of current thinking, there will be bumps in the road and we will all need to keep our focus. What is clear is that advancing plastics through dedicated cooperation will be critical if we want to scale up solutions that have real impact.
Clariant believes collaboration is the best way to find the optimal solutions for the recycling challenge of its customers, increasing the attractiveness and functionality of post-consumer and post-industrial recyclate, and they believe that their initial partnerships are proof that working together works.
Clariant is set to reveal several further exciting collaborations and the sustainable products behind them as well as its plans for EcoTain at K 2019, October 16-23, Düsseldorf, Germany (Hall 8a Booth J11). Insights and updates are available ahead of the show at www.clariant.com/K2019.