From Pollution to Solution: The critical role of Plastic Recycling

Plastic has become a ubiquitous material in modern consumer society due to its versatility and convenience. However, its use comes with high environmental costs. Plastics production is responsible for a substantial and increasing share of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are largely released during their production and conversion from fossil fuels. Additionally, plastic’s use as fuel in municipal waste incineration facilities also adds to the emission issue. According to a 2019 report by the OECD, plastic production alone generated 1.8 billion tons of GHG emissions, which accounted for 3.4% of global emissions.

Moreover, in Germany alone, more than 50% of the annual plastic waste generated is incinerated instead of recycled. Toxic microplastics have been found not only in the oceans but also in our food. And given that the global production and use of plastic is estimated to more than double by 2050, GHG emissions might exceed 2.5 billion metric tons if current trends continue, according to an OECD report.

Plastic Recycling as a Key Climate Solution

We believe that the circular economy, if well-designed, can make an important contribution to the avoidance and reduction of GHG emission levels

The mechanical recycling of plastic, while reducing the need for resource extraction and the production of waste, requires far less energy than the production of virgin materials. Advanced recycling technologies like Depolymerization or Gasification can complement mechanical recycling, especially useful for treating heavily contaminated or difficult-to-separate waste streams.

Mittelstand Champion delivering Impact

That is why we choose Best Plastic Management GmbH (BPM) as our first platform investment in the plastics recycling space. BPM, a well-established plastic recycling company in Germany, is currently producing around 20,000 tons of recyclates per year. The waste plastic comes from pre-sorted industrial companies and is recycled to high-quality low-carbon substitutes for virgin PS, PP and PET granulates. BPM represents an exemplary climate solution company within the German Mittelstand, with an estimated average net GHG emission avoidance potential of over 3,000 tons of CO2 per year per million Euros invested capital.

Vidia’s Climate Impact Contribution

As operationally active purpose-driven owners, we aim to significantly surpass this impact level by unlocking substantial additional organic and an-organic growth in BPM, thereby doubling or even tripling the current production capacity and GHG emissions impact avoidance. Simultaneously, Vidia sees significant potential to help improve BPM’s operational efficiency and competitiveness, setting the company up for growth. Thus, we will simultaneously increase profits and lower CO2 emissions.