Braskem invests R$130 million to promote the circular economy

To further strengthen its commitment to sustainable development, Braskem, a pioneer and the market leader in the production of biopolymers on an industrial scale, just announced the investment of R$130 million in three projects to advance the circular economy: the start of construction of a Circular Packaging Development Center, the inauguration of a mechanical recycling plant and the start of construction of Brazil's first advanced recycling plant with technology developed by Valoren.

By mid-2022, Braskem expects to inaugurate Cazoolo, its Circular Economy Packaging Development Center located in the West zone of São Paulo city, for an investment of R$20 million. The center will act as an innovation hub to help companies forge partnerships with clients, brand owners, designers, startups, and universities for the development of more sustainable packaging through improvements in design and the packaging journey, from conception to post-consumption, with the aim of advancing circularity and reducing environmental impacts.

The project to develop more innovative and sustainable packaging solutions draws on the concepts Design for Environment (DfE) and Life Cycle Analysis (ACV). With the most advanced equipment for rapid prototyping, Cazoolo, with the mission of accelerating advances in circular packaging solutions in the region, will open its doors to the entire plastic packaging chain.

In addition to the center, around R$67 million was invested in building a mechanical recycling plant in Indaiatuba, São Paulo, with startup slated for March. The project was made possible by the partnership with Valoren, a company engaged in the development of new technologies and the management of solid waste for its transformation into recycled products. The expectation is that the region will transform 250 million units of post-consumer packaging made from polyethylene and polypropylene used in cleaning, personal care, cosmetics, and food products, for example, into 14,000 tons of high-quality resins for reuse as raw materials by the plastics converter industry. The plant is already in the commissioning and assisted pre-operational phase.

One of Braskem's innovative fronts for complementing the closure of the circular economy was the signing of another disruptive project with Valoren for the construction and startup of an Advanced Recycling unit, also located in the city of Indaiatuba. The unit will chemically transform plastic waste using a pyrolysis process into a certified circular raw material for use in making resins or chemical inputs.

The new unit, which was made possible by a joint investment of R$44 million and will start-up in the first quarter of 2023, will have an annual production capacity of 6,000 tons of circular products.

"After six years of research and development into innovative new technologies in the pyrolysis of plastic waste, we are very satisfied to be partnering once again with Braskem, which further confirms our joint commitment to the circular economy. Valoren and Braskem enjoy various synergies in sustainability and innovation, and by working together to advance integrated recycling (mechanical and advanced), we will be able to transform plastics recycling and significantly increase Brazil's recycling rate," said Heinz-Peter Elstrodt, partner and chairman of Valoren.

"Sustainability is a core part of our corporate DNA, and we want to lead initiatives that add value to the production chain and effectively and tangibly contribute to building a more sustainable world to ensure a better future for this and future generations," said Edison Terra, vice-president of Braskem South America Olefins and Polyolefins. "Through these three important fronts, we want to promote the circular economy cycle and improve processes and routes for plastic waste recycling in Brazil and the world."


The initiatives, which jointly will require an investment of over R$130 million, are directly related to the targets that Braskem has undertaken for the coming years. In its efforts to eliminate plastic waste, Braskem will expand its production portfolio to include, by 2025, 300, 000 tons of thermoplastic resins and chemical products with recycled content, and by 2030, 1 million tons of such products. Also by 2030, it aims to eliminate 1.5 million tons of plastic waste from being sent to incineration, landfills, or disposal in the environment. 

"These actions are a way to transform Braskem's efforts into real actions throughout the entire circular economy to reinforce its commitments to sustainable development and encourage other people and partners to join these initiatives that reduce environmental impacts while also meeting the needs of markets and consumers," said Terra.


Valoren is a pioneer in the development of new technologies for the integrated recycling of plastics combined with chemical recycling via pyrolysis and complete mechanical recycling (traditional pellets and post-consumer resins). Developing and operating proprietary technologies, Valoren built, in Indaiatuba, São Paulo, Brazil's first plant licensed for chemical recycling (plastics pyrolysis). Since 2015, Valoren has been working to advance the circular economy by employing its proprietary technologies to add value to waste products and reintroduce them into the consumer chain to increase the country's recycling rates and create new income opportunities through direct jobs and formalization of the recycled material supply chain. Valoren has integrated recycling units in Brazil and also operates in Europe.