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Need to Know

Can Chemical Recycling Solve the Plastic Waste Crisis?

plastic waste
Chemical recycling is one of several focus areas for the Alliance to End Plastics Waste.

Since companies like Coca Cola and Nestlé have vowed to use more recycled plastics in their packaging, the petrochemical industry has been pushed to invest in advanced chemical recycling technologies to reduce plastic waste.

A report from the American Chemistry Council estimates that chemical recycling could create $9.9 billion in economic output in the U.S. economy annually, including $4.1 billion related to new products generated by chemical recycling facilities.

In addition, the Houston Chronicle notes that chemical recycling is one of several focus areas for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a nonprofit organization that includes companies that make, use, sell, process, collect and recycle plastics. This includes chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters and waste management companies, also known as the plastics value chain.

Houston Chronicle has more information:

While the petrochemical industry scrambles to find an answer to mounting plastic waste, one solution stands out as a potentially revolutionary force - chemical recycling.

New advancements in chemical recycling technologies, which revert plastics back to their original chemical components, could not only make it easier to recycle plastics, vastly cutting into the amount of plastics filling oceans and landfills, but also represent a huge opportunity for petrochemical industry, a new report suggests. Unlike traditional forms of mechanical recycling, chemical recycling can turn previously difficult-to-recycle plastics into fuels and feedstocks.

As corporations such as Coca Cola and Nestle commit to use more recycled plastics in their packaging, that’s pushing the petrochemical industry to advance the technology.

Read the full article.

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