Online news

Fortum Circo® recycled plastic defies the conventions of fossil-based materials – new compound is carbon-neutral, yet on par with virgin plastic properties

10 October 2022, 13:10 EEST

Fortum Circo carbon neutral footprint

Addressing the global plastics waste issue and striving to support manufacturers’ needs for sustainable materials, Fortum has developed Fortum Circo® recycled plastic as a sustainable solution to replace virgin plastics in plastic products. Now the company is expanding the product range of Fortum Circo® recycled plastics and presenting new compounds at the K-Messe trade exhibition.

“Assessing the life-cycle and the carbon footprint of the Fortum Circo® recycled plastic is an important part of our product development, as Fortum’s ambition is to produce materials that work in technically demanding applications and, at the same time, are as sustainable as possible. The climate change impact of our basic Fortum Circo® recyclates is already about 50% smaller than that of virgin granulates. Now we can proudly state that our new cellulose fibre-reinforced compound Fortum Circo® PP-CF 40, which combines post-consumer recycled polypropylene with softwood cellulose fibre from responsibly grown forests, is even more sustainable as its carbon footprint is neutral,” Mikko Koivuniemi, Business & Technology Development Manager, Fortum, celebrates the achieved climate-friendly results of the cellulose fibre-reinforced compound.

The carbon footprint study shows that the carbon footprint of cellulose fibre-reinforced Fortum Circo® PP-CF 40 is close to zero, making the material carbon-neutral.


Without compromising the technical properties, the carbon footprint of the cellulose fibre-reinforced compound is zero, as demonstrated in the recent carbon footprint study. This result is significant, considering that the carbon footprint of a manufacturer’s final product consists largely of the environmental impact of the raw material used.

“By complementing the recycled plastic with carefully selected and tested additives, we can improve both the technical and environmental properties of the Fortum Circo® recycled plastic,” Koivuniemi notes.

“For the technical aspect, compounds offer improved properties, such as higher stiffness, rigidity and impact strength. We wanted to develop a material that also meets the aesthetic and haptic requirements of demanding applications. Developing compounds that have qualities on par with virgin plastic but are more sustainable is at the strategic core of our plastic business line,” Koivuniemi concludes.

Moving forward, Fortum will focus on developing new compounds, tailoring materials according to customers’ needs and continuing to develop recycled plastic compounds for completely new products and product categories.


Further information:

Mikko Koivuniemi, Business & Technology Development Manager, BL Plastics, Fortum Recycling & Waste, mikko [dot] koivuniemi [at] fortum [dot] com (mikko[dot]koivuniemi[at]fortum[dot]com), +358 40 552 5363


About the carbon footprint study

The study has been conducted by LCA Consulting Oy, in line with LCA standards ISO 14040 (2006) and ISO 14044 (2006) and carbon footprint standard ISO 14067 (2018). The system boundary of the study is cradle-to-gate, i.e. the study represents a partial carbon footprint. In addition to fossil GHGs, the biogenic emissions and removals are included in the carbon footprint. To ensure the quality of the study and that the ISO 14040, ISO 14044 and ISO 14067 requirements are met, a critical review will be conducted at the end of the study. The results presented in this release are preliminary, as the study has not yet been critically reviewed.

It should be noted that both biogenic and fossil-based carbon stored in the Fortum Circo® compounds are released back to the atmosphere when the products made of them are removed from service. With the cradle-to-gate system boundary, the products are carbon-neutral in terms of the total GWP impact, mainly due to the high amount of biogenic carbon stored in the cellulose.

Read more about Fortum Circo® compounds here.