Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.
Every Monday, we publish a roundup of the top developments in plastics and sustainability – from regulatory changes to company news.
This week’s highlights:
- Five companies produce a quarter of the world’s single-use plastics, a new study found. Oil giant ExxonMobil, chemicals group Dow and Chinese oil refiner Sinopec topped the list of almost 300 companies that in 2019 collectively produced some 110m metric tonnes of polymers. China and the United States fuelled demand. (Financial Times)
- Investor appetite for green energy will discourage oil extraction and push up fuel prices, according to some market watchers. Crude is still expected to remain in high demand over the next decade to make transportation fuels and petrochemicals used for plastics and other household products, but spending on oil extraction fell last year to less than half the total from its 2014 record. (Wall Street Journal)
- Scientists have developed a method to convert used plastic bottles into vanilla flavouring, in the first time a valuable chemical has been made from plastic waste. Upcycling plastic – which loses 95% of its value as a material after the first use – into more lucrative materials could make the recycling process more attractive and effective. (The Guardian)