Waste: Stepping up our approach to the circular economy

Woman throwing waste in a recycling bin at a service station in France

Our priority is to recycle all unavoidable waste while reducing the amount of waste we produce. This helps minimize our environmental footprint and save resources for future generations. To this end, we recycle more than half of the waste we produce and are determined to further our efforts in this area.

Why it matters

Soaring populations and economic growth are putting mounting pressure on the Earth's finite resources. That is why we must develop products and services that consume fewer resources and produce less waste. At TotalEnergies, we see this as an opportunity to become more competitive by cutting costs and offering cleaner, more affordable energy to as many people as possible.

Designing products to limit their environmental footprint

Products and services have been awarded the TotalEnergies EcoSolutions label as of end-2019

We reduce the amount of waste produced at source by promoting awareness and improving the design of our products, services and processes. We also take steps to keep the waste they generate to a minimum, notably through the use of life-cycle assessments (LCAs), a recognized tool for environmental analysis. LCAs enable us to assess the environmental impact of a product from the raw material extraction phase through to distribution, use and end of life.

To help our customers consume less and better, we launched in 2009 the TotalEnergies EcoSolutions Program to promote the development of products and services that outperform the market standard in terms of environmental or health impact over their entire lifecycle. 95 products have been awarded the TotalEnergies EcoSolutions label as of end-2019.

Lumicene®: Thinner, tougher plastics

Our petrochemical teams have developed a new generation of polyolefins under the Lumicene® brand name. The result is thinner packaging manufactured using fewer materials, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and generating less waste after use. The Lumicene® range includes polyethylenes used for cosmetics packaging or artificial grass, and polypropylenes, which are frequently used to manufacture drinking cups and feeding bottles for babies.

Supporting industrial channels for waste recycling and recovery

Some waste is unavoidable. That's why we support the development of recycling and recovery channels for our end-of-life products, such as used oils or plastics.

To start, this requires selective waste sorting and collection, which can be organized by local councils and authorities. To encourage the sector's development, we helped found specialized companies such as Valorplast in France.

+ 150,000
metric tons of recycled plastic in 2018 thanks to Valorplast
an initiative backed by TotalEnergies

To ensure the waste collected is given a second life, an industrial scale approach is required, with the creation of processing channels specialized in waste recycling and/or recovery. To this end, we liaise with experts in the sector and local authorities, and support the best initiatives in this area. This approach is helping to foster the emergence of a structured recycling and recovery sector.

Osilub: A second life for recycled oils


Oil recycling lab at the Osilub plant

In partnership with Veolia, we founded the Osilub plant in Le Havre, France. Since it opened in 2012, it has recycled 120,000 metric tons of used oil annually, equivalent to half of France's total output. These recycled oils are then used as feedstock by refineries to produce fuels or lubricants.