Montachem Media Monitoring Report, November 2021

Plastics News 

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Current Trending Topics in the News with Links to Articles: 

  1. Governmental and Lobbying:  


Busy year ahead in states on plastic policy 

State governments in the Northeast and on the West Coast are expected to step up their focus on plastics environmental legislation in 2022, although gains by Republicans in this month’s elections may soften some of that. 

That was the analysis, at least, that came from a recent industry conference looking at the year ahead in state government policy. 


Calif. plastics tax referendum puts industry in ‘very difficult’ spot 

The early polling on California’s plastic tax referendum next year shows it to be popular and that could place plastics groups opposing the ballot measure in a “very difficult” situation, according to industry and environmental lobbyists. 

California voters — who adopted a plastic bag ban on a statewide vote in 2016 — will cast ballots in a referendum next year asking for a tax of up to 1 cent on most single-use plastics, to fund environmental cleanup and recycling. 

While the vote won’t happen until November 2022, it’s already attracting attention from a plastics group that says public opinion surveys show a difficult fight. 


US, EU to lower tariffs on steel, aluminum 

The U.S. and the European Union have reached an interim agreement to amend the tariff structures on U.S. aluminum and steel imports from the EU, a move that many in the industry see as relief for domestic manufacturers and a platform from which carbon emissions can be addressed. 

While the 10 percent aluminum and 25 percent steel tariffs remain in place under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, each will revert to a tariff-rate quota based on historical amounts of aluminum and steel that entered the U.S. from the EU in recent years (the historical periods are different for steel and aluminum). 


  1. Features and News Articles: 

Material Insights: Resin prices drop as market starts to stabilize  (VIDEO) 

Resin prices for some materials drop as the market begins to stabilize following the pandemic, and DuPont Co. is divesting most of its plastics as the auto sector transitions to electric vehicles.  

Steep growth in virgin plastic production impedes climate goals, DOE says 

As negotiators try to hammer out a deal at global climate talks in Scotland, a U.S. government plastics researcher is saying that cutting the carbon footprint of the plastics industry will be critical to meeting climate goals. 

Right now, the plastics industry accounts for about 3 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. But a Department of Energy researcher told a recent plastics conference that number needs to come down. 


  1.  Recycling 


Report says major brands have hit ‘peak’ virgin plastics 


Have major consumer product companies hit “peak virgin plastic,” the point at which their use of new plastic declines? 

A Nov. 16 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation says yes, at least for global brands like Nestlé SA, PepsiCo Inc., Unilever plc, Coca-Cola Co. and others that signed onto its 2018 global commitments to reduce their plastics use and rethink packaging. 

“After decades of growth, virgin plastics use appears to have peaked [for those] brands and retailers and is set to fall faster by 2025,” according to the report, which was prepared with the United Nations Environment Program. 


New EPA waste plan gives nod to chemical recycling; NGOs want tougher approach 


A new national recycling strategy released Nov. 15 by the Environmental Protection Agency is drawing praise from the plastics industry for giving a favorable nod to chemical recycling, but it also suggests EPA could be taking a harder look at plastics in general. 

The American Chemistry Council, for example, said it welcomed the new EPA strategy because it “recognizes the potential of advanced [chemical] recycling technology to transform plastic recycling rates in the U.S.” 

Environmental groups criticized the agency for including chemical recycling, saying it amounts to incineration. And they said the EPA strategy is not strong enough on steps like bottle bills, taxes on virgin materials, recycled-content mandates and extended producer responsibility programs. 



Plastics Recycling World Magazine  


Link to November/December 2021 Issue: 


(the publication does not permit hyperlinking to individual articles, but we list those articles of interest, below, so that you might refer to them)  



Current Trending Topics:  


Chemical Recycling Makes Global Progress 

The number of projects for chemically recycling plastics waste continues to grow in Europe, North America and Asia.  Here we review progress among technology start-ups and major polymer producers.  


Advances in PET Depolymerisation 

Recycling PET with mechanical technologies is well established, but a number of companies have developed depolymerization processes as alternatives.   


Retail and Brand Must Make Sensible Packaging Decisions 

Major CO2 targets were key in talks in Glasglow, but we need to focus on more rapid and achievable goals when it comes to packaging waste. 


Keeping on Top of Quality in PCR Waste Streams 

Plastics recycling can now rely on sophisticated inline control measurement systems to help adjust processes to produce high quality recyclates.  Suppliers are also specializing in colour and sorting controls.   



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Plastics Recycling Technology 

September 13 – 15, 2022 

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