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:

  • China has become a plastics superpower amid the pandemic, currently accounting for about 40% of the demand for the chemicals used in making it. And its main supplier is Russia, where the $11 billion Amur Gas Complex has become a symbol of Russian-Chinese plastics cooperation. (Bloomberg) 
  • Total and Saudi Arabia’s Sabic are among the companies throwing their support behind chemical recycling initiatives that could convert plastic trash into fuel or new polymers. With $4.3 billion in investments directed at such projects in the US alone since 2017, this innovative kind of recycling has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of plastic litter if widely rolled out. (Financial Times)
  • The Uniliver consumer goods company has partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to create AI-enabled recycling machines that automatically identify and sort plastic packaging. Customers scan a QR code and earn points for each item they deposit into the machines, which they can then direct toward tree planting and other conservation initiatives. (Packaging Europe)


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