May 13

Welcome to NEO’s weekly news monitoring about the plastics industry.

Every Monday, we publish a roundup of the top developments in plastics and sustainability – from regulatory changes to company innovations.

This week’s highlights:

  • A flagship project called Renew Oceans that aimed to tackle the ocean plastic waste crisis – and was funded by more than 50 top oil and chemical companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Dow Inc – has officially stopped operating amid the pandemic. Observers see it as a sign that Big Oil is falling short of its targets to curb the increase in waste that has accompanied the growth of plastic production. (Reuters)
  • The UK is under scrutiny for a regulatory loophole that allows it to bypass stringent EU measures on shipping plastic waste to developing countries post-Brexit. Britain is the world’s second-biggest producer of plastic waste after the United States and sends about two-thirds of its plastic waste abroad. (The Guardian) 
  • The National Science Foundation has granted $2 million to a project that is developing robots to sort plastic set aside for recycling and investigating a chemical component that can help break down the plastics into valuable raw materials. The technology is aimed at to help material recovery facilities (MRFs) and other facilities that sort plastic waste. (Forbes) 
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