More than 300 million metric tons of plastic is produced each year worldwide, for several years now, Total has been working with the plastics industry to improve end-of-life management of plastic and reduce its environmental footprint.
More than 300 million metric tons of plastic is produced each year worldwide. Lightweight, resilient, waterproof and cheap, plastic is the ideal material
to manufacture food packaging, automotive bodywork and building insulation, as well as home appliances, medical equipment and clothing.
Today, we reckon only 7% of plastic gets recycled and every year 8 million metric tons end up in the ocean.
For several years now, Total has been working with the plastics industry to improve end-of-life management of plastic and reduce its environmental footprint.
This commitment is based on a circular economy model, where everyone has a part to play. The challenge for Total is to develop plastics that can be produced with fewer raw materials and more recycled or renewable feedstock.
Total is also developing bioplastics that are biobased and/or biodegradable, such as PLA which is made from sugar cane.
Total is also working with manufacturers, research centers, collection and sorting organizations, and its own customers to ensure that products made from plastic are more easily recyclable.
Total dedicates a large portion of its plastics R&D budget to improving the various recycling methods.
These include mechanical recycling, where plastic waste is sorted, washed, ground and then melted before being reused. This process can be supplemented
by chemical recycling, which consists in altering the molecular structure of plastic waste to transform it back into a basic feedstock, “monomers”, which can then be converted into new polymers the basis of all plastic materials produced.
Total has set itself the ambitious goal of producing 30% of recycled polymers by 2030.
Total is also a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. This coalition of 40 companies has made a commitment to spending $1.5 billion over the next five years on solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, particularly in the ocean.
Committing to a more responsible plastics industry is part of our ambition to become the responsible energy major.