Veolia Middle East Highlights the Importance of Recycled Plastic for a Circular Economy at International Recycling Week 2021


  • Cooperation across different sectors of the value chain is crucial to achieving a circular economy.
  • As a highly recyclable plastic resin, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has immense environmental value and potential.
  • A sustainable PET recycling ecosystem has emerged with a business model that can be extended to other plastic resins.

Dubai, UAE, 28th June 2021: Veolia Middle East, the benchmark company for ecological transformation offering game-changing solutions for water, waste and energy management, recently participated in the International Recycling Week virtual conference, which took place from June 21 to 24, 2021.

At the event, Ronald Richa, General Manager – Plastic Recycling at Veolia Middle East, delivered a keynote address on ‘Reinventing Plastic for a Circular Economy.’ In the address, he highlighted the importance of Veolia’s role as the leading plastic recycling company worldwide in building the circular economy, both in the UAE and beyond, through innovations such as the RECAPP mobile app, which provides recyclable waste collection at your door.

Commenting on the event, Richa said: “Veolia is fully committed to a sustainable and circular future for the plastics economy. The global challenge of plastic and waste pollution requires a complete rethinking of the production and consumption of plastic. Stakeholders ranging from petrochemical companies to brand owners and recyclers are taking action to support the development of a sustainable plastic recycling ecosystem.”

As part of the event, Richa also participated in a roundtable entitled ‘Show Us the Money: Plastic Recycling's Potential,’ alongside other industry experts. The discussion explored relevant topics including investment in recycling; big-ticket plastic recycling; price decoupling between the value of plastic scrap and virgin resin; and the diversion of “ocean-bound” plastics.

International Recycling Week is a virtual conference that connects delegates to the latest news and developments in the recycling industry. The event targeted four main segments - Plastics, Paper, Metals, and Construction and Demolition (C&D) recycling, and featured keynote speeches, panel discussions, presentations, tech talks and more.

The plastic recycling journey is about optimising collection, technological innovation, but most and foremost a shift towards a sustainable business model.


Decoupling the price of recycled resins from virgin plastic is key for the development of a healthy plastic recycling industry that produces quality products in the long term and that supports a growing demand. Since 2019, there have been encouraging signs coming from the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market as the price of the recycled food-grade PET resin started being decoupled from the fluctuation of the virgin resin and the oil price. This trend was made possible because of the environmental commitments taken by brand owners to increase their recycled content. At the same time, recyclers managed to provide high quality products in line with the stringent specifications set by brand owners.

This cooperation across different sectors of the value chain enabled the emergence of a sustainable PET recycling ecosystem with a business model that can be extended to other plastic resins.

The first major producer of recycled raw materials, Veolia currently operates more than 200 material recovery facilities, 32 mechanical and 3 chemical plastic recycling plants, including 7 food grade facilities, with a new food-grade RPET plant to be launched in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD) in the near future.

With this unmatched capability, Veolia’s purpose is to actively contribute in structuring the plastic recovery and recycling industry while offering an alternative option to virgin materials. Across the world, Veolia’s teams work hand in hand with key players in the plastic industry. Together, they are reinventing the plastic market by making it more sustainable, from the delivery of high quality recycled plastic resins to the eco-design of new, more sustainable products.

With a global presence and proven expertise throughout the product value chain, Veolia is the ideal partner to make the sourcing and production of raw materials more sustainable.