SABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry, has launched a pilot project with technology company Finboot, advanced recycling pioneer Plastic Energy, and packaging specialist Intraplás to investigate the possibilities of blockchain technology in supporting end-to-end digital traceability of circular feedstock in customer products.
Tracing the journey of feedstock through the complex petrochemical value chain is currently a difficult undertaking. To improve this process and support the delivery of its circular feedstock to customers – part of SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio and services –, SABIC has launched this pilot project to demonstrate the feasibility of using a blockchain-based, value-chain IT application. SABIC’s is the first project of its kind in the industry to trace the product from feedstock production to converter, going further than previous industry applications of blockchain in end-to-end tracing. The platform offers reduced costs, time and improved data integration for all value chain partners.
Another of the key benefits of blockchain technology in the delivery of more sustainable solutions lies in its ability to validate sustainability proof points and organizations’ ESG credentials. This is of significant benefit to all members of the value chain, including external parties, as it reduces the administrative efforts associated with the certification process of materials. It is also a more reliable process, due to the reduced risk of human error.
Waleed Al-Shalfan, Vice President Polymers Technology & Innovation at SABIC, said: “At SABIC, we have a deep commitment to innovation and technology that can help us to deliver more sustainable solutions to our customers. Our vision to create a circular economy for plastics requires a total transformation of the value chain, and pioneering partnerships with partners both upstream and downstream. Blockchain technology holds exciting potential for the provision of our TRUCIRCLE™ products to customers, and therefore for our commitment to supporting customers in their sustainability ambitions.”
Finboot’s MARCO software solution acts as middleware layer and will track the TACOIL produced by Plastic Energy from their recycling process, the delivery of this oil to SABIC for conversion into its TRUCIRCLE™
circular polymers, and finally the delivery of the polymers to Intraplás for conversion into their packaging solutions. The technology also ensures that all data gathered remains immutable while shared across suppliers, customers and regulators - providing transparency, auditability and accountability in a complex industrial ecosystem.
Juan Miguel Pérez Rosas, CEO of Finboot, commented: “We are excited to embark on this pilot as it will significantly contribute to the development and progression of a circular economy, while setting the example for best practice for the global manufacturing sector. SABIC is at the forefront of its industry, always looking to the future and investing in technology and innovation to accelerate its digital transformation that supports the circular economy.”
Marisa Alves, Chief Procurement Officer at Intraplás, added: As a global provider of packaging solutions, Intraplás has the clear ambition to make sustainable packaging broadly available to the market, without compromising the environment and food safety, something that boosted the participation on this important project with our supplier and long-term partner SABIC. The blockchain technology project will reinforce our objectives even more, as it will help us to improve performance, create additional transparency to the supply chain and promote digital traceability for our certified circular packaging. This is an Intraplás contribution, through more concretely sustainable solutions, to a real circular economy.”
Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy commented, “As a company who has developed our own innovative technology, we at Plastic Energy are excited to explore the opportunities that new technologies like blockchain can offer. This pilot has the potential to make a big impact in the value-chain, providing a new level of traceability and transparency for recycled plastics, and demonstrating how advanced recycling can play a valuable role in the circular economy of plastics.”