Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.
This week’s highlights:
- Reports from nearly 10 recyclers and traders on the Plastics Recycling Committee of the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) point to subdued demand for recycled plastics, as many companies opt for low-priced virgin plastics instead. According to one respondent, cheap virgin polymers means demand for recycled plastics has fallen in the whole of Europe, which many see as a negative trend. (Recycling Today)
- Scientists have created the world’s first online tool that maps the impact of plastic on human health. The free database, created by researchers at Australia’s Minderoo Foundation, maps 3,587 studies published between 1960 and 2022 on plastic chemical exposure to impacts on human health. The team hopes the interactive map well help build a greater understanding of the impact of plastics on human health and inform regulatory change. (Sustainable Plastics)
- Chemical recycling proponents are investing in major projects to scale up the technology quickly, even as lingering policy and business factors continue to affect the trajectory of this fast-developing recycling sector. Companies such as Dow, Eastman, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, PureCycle, Cyclyx and others are investing millions of dollars a year in scaling chemical recycling technologies, saying the investments will speed up the process of keeping hard-to-recycle plastics out of landfills and funnel them into feedstocks for new products. (Waste Dive)