Advanced recycling – plastics

Plastics are an essential part of modern life, but they are also a valuable resource that all too often gets wasted. Recycling plastic waste back into raw materials that can be used to make valuable products could help address the challenge of plastic waste in the environment. 

Plastic waste is a global problem that requires collaboration, supportive public policy and significant investment in waste management facilities to increase the supply of materials that can be recycled within the supply chain. 

Imperial's role

Imperial is positioned well through our integrated fuels and chemicals business, to support recycling initiatives using advanced recycling technologies. Advanced recycling involves breaking down plastic waste to its molecular building blocks and effectively transforming the plastic waste into the raw material that can be used in the process of making virgin-quality plastics and other valuable products. 

We believe advanced recycling is a necessary complement to mechanical recycling to help address the plastic waste challenge. Advanced recycling helps to remove contaminants and can accommodate a broader range of plastic waste than conventional recycling technologies. 

infographic illustrating how advanced recycling works
Sarnia refinery worker

Transforming plastic waste into valuable products in Sarnia

Imperial is evaluating the implementation of advanced recycling at our Sarnia, Ontario petrochemical facility. 

The potential project would leverage advanced recycling technology currently being implemented at ExxonMobil’s Baytown Texas facility, which has already processed 6,700 metric tonnes of plastic waste as of September 2022 and plans start up a 30,000 metric tonne per year facility by December 2022. 

Subject to a final investment decision, anticipated startup of an advanced recycling facility in Sarnia could be as early as 2024, with a capacity similar to that of Baytown.

Strategic collaborations

In 2021, Imperial joined the Council of the Great Lakes Region, Circular Great Lakes initiative, that is working with partners to develop circular-economy strategies for plastics in the Great Lakes region. 

Imperial is collaborating with the Chemical Industry Association of Canada on its Save Plastics public education campaign. Learn more about how using plastics as a resource support’s Canada’s goals of zero plastic waste by 2030 and net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

watch the video

Save Plastics