Shell Polymers will partner with a chemical recycling company to pave roads at its petrochemical site with asphalt enhanced with recycled plastic additive. Shell announced plans to pave nearly six miles of site roads and 47,000 square yards of parking lots with the mix at its Beaver County site, which will begin turning natural gas into plastic pellets next year. Company representatives said the project will “utilize the equivalent of 3 million plastic grocery bags, reducing waste in landfills.”
The partnership with Canada-based GreenMantra Technologies began in March 2020, when crews at the future Potter Township facility laid a test strip with the modified asphalt next to traditional asphalt and monitored it for a year. The test strip’s performance, compared to its partner, prompted leadership to use it more broadly throughout the project.
GreenMantra converts waste plastics such as grocery bags and film into specialty chemicals for use in roofing, paving and other industries. The technology aims to reduce energy use and carbon emissions during asphalt production and installation. Hilary Mercer, Shell Polymers senior vice president, called the move a “win-win” for the environment and the cracker plant project “by using materials that would otherwise have been plastic waste.”