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Plastics circularity - Transition to new plastics economy

Plastics is a global issue as it is a versatile material, but they also make up a significant part of the plastic waste. Most of the time, we use them once and throw it away. By doing that, we cause plastic pollution and environmental damage as oil and gas from the earth is used to make plastic products.

To drive environmental change, a value proposition is required beyond what the current economic value systems support. The key is a transition from a fossil-based, linear model to a carbon-neutral, circular model through the advancement of technology, innovation, and infrastructure build.

The plastic industry is at a crossroad and to have a successful transition to a circular, carbon neutral model, the industry must address the following aspects:

  • The world will generate increasing amounts of plastics
  • Scaled technology and associated infrastructure do not currently exist
  • The potential impact on virgin resin demand is significant
  • Progress towards a circular economy will be policy driven
  • The competitive landscape will be redefined

The transition to a circular society will lead to economic values being redesigned, with plastics as no exception. Plastic waste will bring external costs in focus. To ensure a successful transition to circular plastics, reinvention of logistical support that can capture highly dispersed plastics is required which will represent a paradigm shift from today's inadequate curbside and commercial waste stream collection infrastructure.

Extending core competencies can contribute to streamlined and scaled infrastructure, but investments need to be properly prioritized. Technology will strive to consolidate, patents will be gradually exchanged, and there will be commercial consolidation. It is important to integrate risk-adjusted cost considerations into new economic values. The cost of stand-alone technology vs the deployment of integrated resources would contribute to the incorporation of chemical recycling into the existing system for petrochemicals. Clear and succinct messaging vs the inconsistent and ambiguous status quo must be included in the implementation of standards.

The progression of Environmental, Social and Government (ESG) principles is driving investments in multiple regions. Investments with a primary focus on ESG characteristics have increased to represent more than 10% of equities under management and are affecting access to equity and debt capital through debt offerings, IPOs, and secondary equity offerings. The incorporation of ESG principles into business practices and strategies not only differentiates and enhance competitive positions but is now considered a fundamental business requirement.

Clear and concise messaging needs to have a purpose and address the reality that fragmented and ambiguous communications prevail to influence improvements in plastic waste management. Clear and concise messaging needs to have an objective and fix fragmented and misleading messaging currently in place to impact the clarity of the transition to circular plastics.

Video

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Changing course: Plastics, carbon and the transition to circularity
Get Chemical insights and join industry leaders in our webinar titled, Client Briefing: Changing Course: Plastics, Carbon and the transition to Circularity today!

Events

IHS Markit Conference 21 October 2020

GPS Online: The Global Plastics Summit

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IHS Markit Conference 08 March 2021

World Petrochemical Conference 2021

World Petrochemical Conference 2021

IHS Markit Webinar 28 October 2020

Impacts on Chemical Markets in a Post-COVID World

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