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Plastics Sustainability: Adapting your strategy

The most critical issue facing the plastics industry

Massive and burgeoning quantities of plastic waste, especially in the ocean, have become a public pollution crisis. Global action by plastics value chain participants is needed to reduce waste and intensify recycling. Ad hoc actions by governments and corporations to ban plastics could prove costly if policy makers do not consider whether there are viable and economic alternatives.

Today, over 60 countries have introduced bans and levies on the use of plastics. Both the public and private sectors are increasing the pace of efforts to curb consumption and improve management of single-use plastics. The actions taken are often driven by uninformed understanding of the consequences and available alternatives, or an underestimation of the ability of infrastructure to deliver.

A Call to Industrial Action

Sustainability is a challenge from a demand, supply, regulatory and technology standpoint. It involves every participant of the value chain – from energy to consumer and from both private and public sector. A shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to sustainability is occurring with governments aggressively moving to address the issue in pursuit of a “circular economy”, in which the plastics producer becomes a key stakeholder in managing the environmental impact of plastics by eliminating single-use plastics and reducing end-waste. The pace of change and the prospect of greater regulations, including bans, and consumer deselection of certain plastic end-use products, are creating significant investment risk and market uncertainly.

Foundation for Solutions

To help our customers understand and adapt their strategic plans to this rapidly developing multifaceted movement, IHS Markit has developed a multiclient study entitled "Plastics Sustainability: A Sea Change - Plastics Pathway to Sustainability." We are also compiling our latest thought leadership and resources on this topic and invite you to bookmark this page to check back regularly for updates.

Plastics Sustainability Understand what’s at stake for the plastics industry

Read the IHS Markit Plastics Sustainability Blog

Industry Success Stories

Global Plastics Recycling

Discover how the IHS Markit chemical consulting team advised a customer who needed to understand the impact of China’s ban on imported plastic scrap on the recycling industry.

Download Infographic


Joel Morales

Mr. Morales is currently the service leader of three market advisory subscription services: The Global Plastics and Polymers Report, the North American PE Report and the North American PP report. He brings a wealth of industry knowledge to IHS Markit through multiple stints along the plastics' value chain. Prior to joining the company in March 2013 to cover PE and PP in North America, he was a purchasing manager for Silgan Plastics, a major, blow-molding and injection molding plastics converter. He worked in resin distribution sales for both Muehlstein and United Polychem, where he managed and sold polyethylene and polypropylene resins into various customer segments, after beginning his career in technical services, product development and later field sales with polyolefins manufacturer, Solvay Polymers (now Ineos). Mr. Morales graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in psychology.

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Anthony Palmer

Anthony J. Palmer is Vice President of IHS Markit where he is responsible for the Circular Plastics & Sustainability business for the Base Chemicals & Plastics group. In this role, he coordinates the Research & Insight activities associated with plastics reuse, reduction, and recycle.Prior to his current position, Mr. Palmer managed the Consulting operations IHS Markit Chemical Consulting's East and West Coast Offices where he directed engagements for clients with interests in the business, technical, and financial aspects of the energy, chemicals, and related process industries. His areas of interest include strategic business management, financial and acquisition analysis, technology assessment, capital project planning, manufacturing strategy, international project development, expert witness/litigation support, and material supply strategy.In addition to consulting, Mr. Palmer is an Adjunct Professor of Management at Connecticut State University's Ancell School of Business Administration, where he teaches courses in Strategic Management using the case analysis approach.Previously, Mr. Palmer worked at CMAI (acquired by IHS Markit in 2011) now part of IHS Markit, as well as CPI Consulting Associates, Chem Systems, and Exxon Corporation. He holds both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College, and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and International Business from Fordham University, New York, US.

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Mark Morgan, Ph.D.

Dr. Morgan has dedicated more than two decades to consulting in specialty chemicals, process technology and industrial biotechnology. In addition, to chemicals consulting, he supports work in other IHS Markit business units where chemicals and materials are involved, in particular Aerospace, Defence and Security (AD&S). In 2011, he joined Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI) to lead its global activities in renewables. Previously, he was with Chem Systems, a leading boutique consulting firm serving chemicals and allied industries. His work covered lenders advisory work, M&A due diligence, project feasibility, technology validation and valuation, legal work and more. Following service in the army, he began has chemicals career with BP undertaking blue sky research as well as plant support, together with taking new ideas from concept to commercialization. Dr. Morgan earned his doctorate in chemical physics at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.He leads consulting projects in all regions in specialty chemicals, biotechnology, renewables and advanced materials. He has strong experience across multiple specialty chemical value chains; linear alpha olefins, detergent alcohols, surfactants, nutraceuticals, the C4 chain, the C5 chain, specialty aromatics, biodegradable polymers, bio-based building blocks, engineering polymers, higher performance materials, carbon fibre, construction chemicals, food/feed additives, valorizing cracker by-product streams, etc. Mark has also undertaken lenders advisory work - commercial and technical for small and large capital projects, as well as supporting due diligence processes in M&A transactions, venture capital, etc.

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