SABIC has established a consortium blockchain project aimed at creating additional transparency and digital traceability for its TRUCIRCLE feedstock solutions, in collaboration with technology company Finboot, advanced recycling company Plastic Energy, and packaging specialists Intraplás.

The pilot project is aimed at investigating the possibilities of blockchain technology in supporting end-to-end digital traceability for so-called circular feedstock in customer products. The companies say that tracing the journey of feedstock through the petrochemical value chain is currently a difficult undertaking.

SABIC claims its blockchain-based, value-chain IT solution, which will focus on its TRUECIRCLE portfolio of feedstock certified as circular by Net Zero Plastics, will be the first project of its kind in the industry to trace the product from feedstock production to converter. The company adds that the platform will offer reduced costs and time, as well as improved data integration for all value chain partners.

In addition, SABIC says that blockchain technology will be able to validate sustainability proof points and organisations’ ESG credentials. The company explains that this will benefit all members of the value chain, including external parties, as it reduces the administrative efforts associated with the certification process of materials while reportedly being a more reliable process due to the reduced risk of human error.

Waleed Al-Shalfan, vice president of polymers technology & innovation at SABIC, comments: “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.”

As part of the consortium, Finboot’s MARCO software solutions apparently act as a middleware layer and will track the TACOIL produced by Plastics 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 companies claim that this technology ensures that all data gathered remains immutable while shared across suppliers, customers, and regulators. This provides transparency, auditability, and accountability in a complex industrial ecosystem, according to the companies.

Juan Miguel Pérez Rosas, CEO of Finboot, adds: “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.”

Marisa Alves, chief procurement officer at Intraplás, says: “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.”

Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO of Plastic Energy, concludes: “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.”