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Sustainability challenges posed by recycled plastic inflation’s long game

The packaging supply chain needs to come to grips with inflation, but in a context few are considering at the moment – the sustainability movement. Escalating prices for recycled plastics were expected. Escalating prices for everything else was not, and that poses new challenges for those who transact in the plastic supply chain and those tasked with steering their companies’ plastics circularity objectives.

Immense challenges facing chemical, polymer procurers

Mid-February’s prolonged freeze on the Texas-Louisiana coast has juiced up market commentary as much as it has most petrochemical and polymer pricing. Just days after the storm, a polyethylene (PE) trader said that the freeze’s effects on regional and global supplies would be “worse than Hurricane Harvey”. Perhaps so, because not long after, a PE […]

Three markets to watch amid stimulus efforts

The Democrat Party sweep of the Georgia runoff senatorial elections this week means President-elect Joseph Biden will take office on 20 January with his party in control of both houses of Congress and thus an easier path to enacting the policies on which he campaigned. The blog previously outlined some possibilities for pandemic-recovery economic stimulus […]

How policies could shape LLDPE’s future

There should be little doubt that government policies across the globe will play a critical role in stimulating, rebuilding and reshaping economies staggering from the damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, which came at the time most were pushing forward with burgeoning sustainability and circularity efforts. Whether through ambitious “new deal” kinds of programmes, hands-off, […]

Decoupling talk is decoupled from reality

It was supposed to be a harmless press conference honouring the US Labor Day holiday, but President Donald Trump made a statement about possible changes in the US-China relationship that if implemented would have substantial implications for chemical markets. In vowing to bolster US manufacturing by reshoring jobs from China should he be elected to […]

The US economy’s hall of mirrors

The US economic recovery from pandemic-induced shutdowns is about as disjointed an endeavour as I can recall. Recent data releases and surveys paint a quite jumbled picture. Take this week’s Beige Book release from the Federal Reserve, which distils inputs from regional Reserve bank surveys into the following summation: Employment – Up overall since falling […]

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