The plastics industry as we know it today, may well start to move into an endgame as it is squeezed from both ends of the value chain.
Plastics has long been the ‘odd one out’ in terms of recycling. Steel, aluminium, glass, cardboard, rubber and paper routinely have up to a 70% rate of recycling. But plastics has been stuck at around 10% for a long time. President Biden’s Earth Day Summit is likely to change this picture, and quickly. The reason
The post Biden’s Earth Day Summit puts plastics recycling on the fast track appeared first on Chemicals and the Economy.
One of the good things to happen in the pandemic over the past year is that ‘cooking has become the new commute’ for many people. Working from home means they have often saved an hour or more a day in commuting time. And instead of sitting in a crowded bus or train, or being stuck
The post COP 26 set to accelerate development of the 15-minute city appeared first on Chemicals and the Economy.
The Great Freeze in Texas has confirmed once again the problems with today’s global supply chains. As the New York Times has highlighted: “The pandemic has disrupted every stage of the (supply chain) journey”. The problems began last year with the disruption to the global shipping container system. Millions of containers were used to ship
The post Circular economy set to replace today’s broken global supply chains appeared first on Chemicals and the Economy.
Paradigm shifts start slowly at first, and it is easy to miss them. But then one day, they suddenly become obvious, and it becomes a scramble to catch up. That’s what happened on the waste plastic issue last week, when China decided to take action. As official news agency, Xinhua, reported: “The policy measures proposed
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do”. The Irish proverb’s logic shows us the way forward on the greatest challenge that we face today, of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. As the President of the European Petrochemical Association, Marc Schuller, highlighted last month when issuing a ‘call to action’: “The
Planning for future demand in petrochemicals and polymers used to be relatively easy during the BabyBoomer SuperCycle. The team would consult the latest IMF forecast for global and regional growth, and then debate the right ratio to use to calculate product demand. For polyethylene (PE), the ratio was generally just above GDP at around 1.1x,
Europe’s plastics industry is under major threat from the growing legislative and consumer backlash against plastic packaging. As with the global industry, its licence to operate is increasingly challenged by images of plastic rubbish polluting the world’s oceans, alongside photos of baby fish dying because their parents mistakenly fed them plastic instead of food. EU
150 businesses representing over 20% of the global plastic packaging market have now agreed to start building a circular economy for plastics with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. As a first step, Coca-Cola has revealed that it produced 3MT of plastic packaging in 2017 – equivalent to 200k bottles/minute, around 20% of the 500bn PET bottles used every
“Once upon a time, Granny and Grandad used to go to a large shop on the motorway to buy their furniture. They used to stagger around carrying Billy bookshelves and Dombas wardrobes, before treating themselves to Swedish meatballs in the canteen. And then Grandad would spend the rest of the weekend trying to assemble the
Fears are rising about the risks of recession, as I discuss in a new one-page summary of the key issues facing the aromatics industry, ‘What does the future hold for Aromatics?‘. Please click here to download it. These issues will also be key topics at next month’s 17th World Aromatics and Derivatives Conference, jointly organised with ICIS, […]
Europe’s petrochemical sector must prepare now for the trade war, US start-ups, Brexit and the circular economy, as I discuss in this interview with Will Beacham of ICIS news at the European Petrochemical Association Conference. With higher tariff barriers going up between the US and China, the market in Europe is likely to experience an influx of […]
The post Petrochemicals must face up to multiple challenges appeared first on Chemicals & The Economy.
My new analysis for iCIS Chemical Business highlights the paradigm shift now underway in the plastics industry. A paradigm shift is underway in the plastics industry as public concern mounts over the impact of plastic waste on the oceans and the environment. For 30 years, plastics producers have primarily focused upstream on securing cost-competitive feedstock supply. […]
The post Plastics recycling paradigm shift will create Winners and Losers appeared first on Chemicals & The Economy.
Good business strategies generally create good investments over the longer term. And so Aramco needs to ensure it has the best possible strategies, if it wants to maximise the outcome from its planned $2tn flotation. Unfortunately, the current oil price strategy seems more likely to damage its valuation, by being based on 3 questionable assumptions: Oil […]
The post Saudi oil policy risks creating perfect storm for Aramco flotation appeared first on Chemicals & The Economy.
Two major challenges face petrochemical and polymer producers and consumers in 2018: The likely disruption created by the arrival of the ethylene/polyethylene expansions in the US The growth of the circular economy and the need to dramatically increase recycling capacity My new interview with Will Beacham, deputy editor of ICIS Chemical Business, focuses on both […]
The post 2018 will see Winners and Losers appear in plastics markets appeared first on Chemicals & The Economy.
‘What is this block of waste plastic doing on an Arctic ice-floe’, thousand of miles from where it was manufactured? Even more worrying is the question, ‘what will happen to it next?’ As David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet II‘ programmes have shown, plastic can break down into micro-particles after it has been used. And these micro-particles […]
The post Sustainability now the key driver for plastics industry profits appeared first on Chemicals & The Economy.
The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones. Similarly, coal is being left in the ground because we no longer need it any more. And the same is happening to oil, as Saudi Arabia recognised last year in its Vision 2030: “Within 20 years, we will be an economy that doesn’t depend mainly […]
Plastics have made an enormous contribution to improving our quality of life over the past 75 years. Polyethylene (discovered in 1933), polypropylene, PVC, polystyrene, PET and many others have made our lives safer, and easier: Plastic pipes have removed the risk of lead poisoning from our water, and helped to reduce water lost in […]