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  • Writer's pictureStephan Roest

Visible Progress, Now

Why Mass Balance is key in bringing circularity forward.

Real, meaningful and long-lasting change is a process; it never happens overnight. It takes planning, iterative steps, learning and constant development. Reaching a circular economy will take exactly that; it is a journey of collaboration and reinvention. In the world of plastic materials, the world needs that change to happen at a pace that matches the size of the very real and pressing challenges of waste and climate change. That change is already under-way, and progress requires that as an industry - and whole value chain - we make the right decisions today that move us forward. We can’t wait for full, all or nothing solutions to be possible; circularity needs to be ramping up through the technologies and processes we choose to use in the now and the immediate future.


This urgency and immediacy is why we need chain of custody models; process-driven models of how we offset or replace virgin feedstocks in the material mix, using renewable or recycled feedstocks to give us more sustainable materials. A number of models exist, and they vary in how such feedstocks are processed, tracked and verified through production. Today, because it offers the most immediate and all round benefits of such models, Mass Balance is the approach we believe is the way we can increasingly meet our own and our customers’ sustainability goals.

At Borealis, we developed our platform EverMinds™ to help accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic through circular thinking, therefore we believe in selecting the technologies and processes that offer the most tangible progress.

Mass Balance can not only help meet sustainability goals but also help lower CO2 emissions and create new value from waste, using alternative, non-fossil feedstocks - from renewable biomass or from chemically recycled post-consumer waste - combined in processing with virgin feedstocks to create new polyolefins. As a model, it means it can work alongside existing infrastructure at production plants and can be scalable, allowing a steady scale-up of circular solutions without compromises in product performance.

Reliability is key; to start to respond to downstream customer and consumer demand for more sustainable product, Mass Balance benefits from ISCC PLUS certification means sustainable materials can be traced all the way through the chain of custody and offer verified proof of sustainability in the final product. This ensures that the information linked to the materials or products is transferred, monitored and controlled throughout the supply chain. Assessment is done according to a full set of sustainability criteria, with a multi-stakeholder panel (including NGOs).

In short, this is circular change made visible, now. It’s time to get ahead in our collective progress to sustainable plastics. Mass Balance may not be the endgame or full solution, but it is a solution for getting there sooner, at a time when we must all act decisively to move the needle on future-positive change. Mass Balance is helping to make visible progress, now!

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