Oct 18

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:

  • A Democratic proposal to help finance the party’s $3.5 trillion spending bill by taxing single-use plastics is generating sharp pushback from members of the industry, who argue it would produce more waste and hurt average Americans. A trade group representing 28 companies including oil giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell as well as major chemical manufacturers such as DuPont and Dow Chemical has claimed that such a levy would amount to some $40 billion in additional taxes and “punish Americans” who depend on plastics in electric vehicles, home insulation, electronics and packaging, while funding unrelated government programs and fueling inflation. (The Hill)
  • A British startup’s innovation to tackle plastic pollution by decomposing the material into a wax that’s digested by nature is making inroads in Asia. Polymateria Ltd., which has a lab on Imperial College London’s campus, has struck a deal with a supplier to 7-Eleven in Taiwan, Polymateria Chief Executive Officer Niall Dunne said in an interview. The company has also inked a deal worth as much as $100 million to license its technology to Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Corp., one of the world’s biggest petrochemical manufacturers. (Bloomberg)
  • McDonald’s Corp. said all toys included in its Happy Meals will be made from more sustainable materials by 2025 world-wide, as large companies look to make their operations more environmentally friendly. The fast-food chain said it is shifting some of its toys to plant-based materials from plastics made out of fossil fuels. The company has come under pressure from consumers over its Happy Meal toys. Hundreds of thousands of people signed a British petition in 2019 asking the fast-food giant to stop giving out the toys, which tend to be made with more than one kind of plastic or a combination of materials, meaning they often aren’t recyclable. (Wall Street Journal)

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