Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.
This week’s highlights:
- Single-use plastic production rose by 6 million tonnes per year between 2019 and 2021, despite tougher global regulations and corporate pledges to move away from plastic. Producers made “little progress” to tackle the problem and boost recycling, according to the latest Plastic Waste Makers Index from Australia’s Minderoo Foundation. The report noted that production of single-use plastic from virgin fossil fuel sources is still nowhere near its peak, and the use of recycled feedstocks remains “at best a marginal activity.” (Reuters)
- Europe’s plastics industry players weighed in on their outlook for the industry, with the only good news being that things probably won’t get any worse. In the most recent survey from Plastics Information Europe, almost a quarter of respondents said they expect to start rebounding from a dismal 2022 in the second half of this year, while 2.4% believe they will never return to their pre-pandemic level of activity. Meanwhile, most respondents from German-speaking Europe and brand owners don’t expect to see a full recovery until 2024. (Plastics Today)
- French multi-energy company TotalEnergies has partnered with Ecolab to develop recycled plastic packaging, in a bid to improve circularity in heavy-use packaging markets. The packaging contains post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic content and is designed for highly concentrated cleaning products. According to TotalEnergies vice-president of Polymers Europe & Orient, this collaboration marks an example of value-chain partnership and contributes to the company’s goal of producing 30% circular polymers by 2030. (Packaging Gateway)