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Task force for more sustainable polymers

Croda International Plc, which uses smart science to create, make and sell speciality chemicals that improve lives has united with some of the world’s largest companies to create a more sustainable future, by becoming founder members of the Polymers in Liquid Formulations (PLFs) task force.

Aligning with its Commitment to become the most sustainable supplier of innovative ingredients, Croda, along with Unilever, Scott Bader, Crown Paints and Afton Chemical are the first to join the task force and commit to improving the sustainability of PLFs. The new task force, which is led by the Royal Society of Chemistry, will focus on driving innovation to improve end-of-life waste management, introduce a circular economy for these widely used polymers and establish clear industry leadership for more sustainable PLFs.

Polymers in liquid formulations (PLFs) have a number of uses and are found in millions of products from paints and household cleaning products to agrochemical and cosmetics. These versatile polymers currently provide several sustainability benefits, including lower wash temperatures for clothes, however, there are very few ways to recycle PLFs. With more than 36.25million tonnes of PLFs not recovered after use every year, this new task force is looking to make these vital ingredients more sustainable. 

Damian Kelly, Vice President of Innovation and Technology Development at Croda said: “Croda is committed to Sustainability and the PLF task force is an excellent opportunity to bring industry together to set a sustainable course for thousands of polymers. Croda is an active member of the RSC and we are excited to be part of this task force. We believe our continued success and positive impact on the world is driven by the strength of our relationships, with sustainability at the heart of what we do.”

Professor Tom Welton, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “PLFs haven’t had enough attention over the years because they are ingredients rather than products. It is their flexibility and usefulness that makes them so prevalent - and therefore implementing a circular economy for these products presents several technical challenges.
“Currently, these valuable chemicals are produced in huge quantities, used, and then never recovered. We simply must develop innovative new technologies and apply circular economy principles to collect them, reuse them as new products and raw materials, and offer further bio-based and biodegradable alternatives.

“There are technical challenges in creating sustainable alternatives, but overcoming these challenges would offer colossal sustainability benefits, which is why we are forming this task force. With some of the world’s largest players in this sector joining us to tackle this issue, we have a fantastic opportunity to make real and lasting change. But these are just first steps – solutions will only come through the concerted action of academia, industry and civil society.”

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