Driving the transition to a circular economy

Transitioning to a circular economy is crucial for addressing climate change and resource constraints. Embracing this challenge, we are offering more sustainable engineering plastics combined with innovative services and solutions designed to transform industries towards a circular and climate neutral future.
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Addressing the climate challenge: the plastics industry plays a key role

The task of creating more sustainable patterns of production and consumption in the polymer sector is more urgent than ever. 
Improving our material technologies alone is far from enough. That’s why we're adopting a comprehensive strategy that focuses on not only the development of more sustainable material offerings, but also on design concepts and practices that are embedded in circularity, as well as building partnerships to create new business models in all of these areas. For this holistic mission, we are seeking partners along the value chain to build collaborations to create groundbreaking solutions, together.

We’re committed to working with all partners along the value chain to drive the transition to a circular economy. To achieve that we need to invest in not only sustainable material solutions, but also new services and business models that can truly drive value creation.

Lily Wang

Head of Engineering Plastics

Innovative recycling technologies: giving plastic waste a new life

To meet consumer demand for more sustainable products, we are working with partners on mechanical recycling by putting post-consumer recycled (PCR) and post-industrial recycled (PIR) plastics to new use.
From collecting and sorting to cleaning, shredding and processing, we implement strict quality control steps with partners for turning plastic waste into high-quality recyclates that contribute up to a 50% lower carbon footprint compared to virgin materials.
Our broad portfolio of PCR and PIR polycarbonates derived from mechanical recycling offers varying levels of recycled content and properties to meet the requirements of industries including electrical and electronics manufacturers, as well as the mobility sector.

Renewable feedstock attributed via mass balance 

We’ve taken the next step in replacing fossil feedstock with renewable feedstock. ISCC PLUS-certified polycarbonates are renewable attributed polycarbonates via mass balance methodology. Through this approach, fossil feedstock is replaced by bio-circular alternative feedstock up to a specific percentage. As drop-in replacements for pure fossil based products, these renewable attributed products deliver the same quality and performance. This means our customers can reach their sustainability targets without technical risks or production interruptions. The renewable attributed products provide a significant carbon footprint reduction compared to fossil-based products. Our mass-balanced polycarbonates of the RE series offer superior climate performance, with selected Makrolon® RE grades able to reach climate neutrality.

Circular design as a critical enabler for more sustainable products

Design is a key enabler of increased circularity. Products that last longer and are easily disassembled and recycled at the end of their life will help accelerate the transition to a circular economy. We help designers and developers in the electronic, electrical and appliance industry to take a lifecycle approach to their next-generation products.
We also recognize the importance of CMF (color, material, finish) design in the business success and adoption of more sustainable raw materials, in particular recycled plastics. That’s why we’re working with experts in the field to integrate aesthetic CMF design into Covestro's more sustainable polycarbonate material portfolio. Our goal is to find the right balance between the aesthetics, functionality and environmental footprint of sustainable material solutions.

Joint solutions: closing material loops while increasing transparency 

We work with customers and partners along the value chain to seize new opportunities to close material loops while increasing supply chain transparency. Our innovative collaborations include using blockchain technology to ensure the transparent traceability of plastics in Porsche cars, and creating a closed-loop recycling value chain for plastic water barrels with Nongfu Spring in China. 
As one of the leaders in business model innovation, we believe partnerships can help to achieve a circular economy and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Our solutions with recycled materials and attributed renewable feedstock prove that adopting more sustainable material solutions does not mean compromising on quality or aesthetics. If you are seeking more sustainable material solutions, please get in touch with our team to take advantage of our expertise in plastics engineering.   

We support our customers in the mobility, electronics, electrical and healthcare industries in meeting their sustainability challenges, with products and solutions that unite excellent performance with increased sustainability. We are accompanying our clients in the transition to a circular economy.

Roy Cheung

Global Head of Sustainability Solutions, Engineering Plastics Covestro

Let’s build a circular economy together, with more sustainable raw materials, services and solutions.

Help us transition to circular plastics!

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