Clariant partners with Montreal firm to convert ocean-bound plastics into flame retardants

The collaboration between Clariant and sustainable resin supplier Lavergne is developing flame-retardant polyester compounds targeted to electric and electronic applications such as laptop parts.

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March 13, 2020 by Canadian Plastics


A partnership between chemicals maker Clariant and Lavergne, a Montreal-based producer of sustainable engineering resin from recycled ocean-bound plastics, is developing halogen-free, flame-retardant polyester compounds made from ocean-bound plastics.

With the first grade already commercialized, the collaboration is supporting demand from major electrical and electronics brand owners for post-consumer recyclates that are flame retardant.

The collaboration arises from Lavergne’s wider mission to create new uses for plastic, in this case polyethylene terephthalate (PET), recycled from ocean-bound waste streams. Ocean-bound plastic (OBP) refers to plastic waste that is recovered from the more than eight million metric tons of plastic currently entering the oceans each year.

The first new flame-retardant compound Lavergne VYPET OBP-FR has 30 per cent glass fibre reinforcement and UL 94 V-0 flame rating at 0.8 mm thickness, which makes it suitable for many electric and electronic (E&E) plastic applications, like aesthetic and structural parts. This fully recyclable OBP-based compound has already successfully passed molding trials at part manufacturers and is commercially available.

The joint project took more than a year to come to fruition, and both parties plan to continue their working relationship. “Lavergne is the right place for plastics, not the oceans,” said Davood Bagheri, a polymer scientist at Lavergne. “We clean the oceans of plastics and turn the plastic wastes into high-end products.”

“By using VYPET OBP compounds, we help manufacturers to reduce significantly the plastic carbon footprint,” said Yoan Lavergne, marketing manager at Lavergne. “And this is only the beginning.”