DUESSELDORF, Germany—Sustainability is taking many forms for ExxonMobil Chemical.
"We're helping customers develop sustainable solutuions," Polyethylene Market Development Manager Adeline Duponchel said Oct. 18 at K 2019. "Now we're targeting designs for recycling in products like monomaterial pouches."
Duponchel added that, as a resin supplier, Houston-based ExxonMobil can provide several sustainable solutions to its customers, including ways to incorporate recycled content.
"Plastic has value; we want to make sure it doesn't lose that value," she added.
According to PE Global Strategic Marketing Manager Francois Chambon, there's "a big drive to simplified solutions" in that market. He also cited monomaterial pouches as an example, since using only PE in those products can eliminate features like polyester substrates that make some pouches harder to recycle.
Monomaterial pouches can use recycled content with the same or similar performance as those made from virgin PE, Chambon added, while competing with materials like biaxially oriented polypropylene film.
Trends like shared cars are providing ExxonMobil with opportunities to develop lightweight materials, according to Anne Villard, PP automotive program manager. New grades of PP can be colored and incorporate different effects, giving auto makers flexibility in redecorating vehicle interiors, she said.
ExxonMobil's Atando Cabos project in Chile has used Rethink Recycle grades of Vistamaxx specialty resins to make PE and PP compatible and to turn discarded fishing ropes from the Chilean coast into high-quality end products. The project "is a way to upgrade recycled material," according to Vistamaxx Market Development Manager Gertrud Masure.
Beth Galvin added that Rethink Recycle is fully commercial and has been successful in several durable goods.
"It's all about how to maintain and value materials," said Galvin, global marketing manager for specialty polymer products. "We can partner with customers on that."