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.
Chemicals and the Economy
The implications of the rise in EV sales go well beyond the auto and oil markets, with petrochemicals likely to be next in line for disruption. This is why the surge in EV sales up the S-curve of adoption has to be my Chart of the Year.
Plastics producers are now being squeezed from both ends of the value chain. Upstream, the growing demand for Electric Vehicles is starting to lead to refinery closures, reducing feedstock availability. Downstream, brand owners are stepping up the pressure for increased use of recycled plastic, as the new Global Commitment report from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation […]
Global smartphone sales took a hit in Q3, disappointing those who had hoped the economy might be moving into full recovery mode. And the market continues to see a major shift in consumer preferences: Back in 2013, sales were in turbo-charged growth mode, with volume rising 41% by year-end. And 2014 saw volume up 31%, […]
The European plastics industry last week took the crucial first step in moving away from virgin plastics towards a circular economy. It supported the Commission’s proposal for a mandatory 30% recycled content in plastics packaging by 2030. And it argued that this could only be achieved by the use of chemical recycling. It is hard […]
Smartphone sales confirm that global markets are continuing to pivot to the New Normal world. Back in 2014, Samsung dominated with its middle market positioning. But since then, its position has been squeezed as the market polarises between low-cost Chinese suppliers and Apple’s focus on adding services. Every third smartphone used to be a Samsung. […]
The original debate on plastics recycling owed its prominence to Ellen MacArthur, the yachtswoman who was appalled by the volume of plastic waste in the oceans, as she sailed round the world. This led her to set up her Foundation, which soon began to work with the World Economic Forum in developing the New Plastics […]
The pandemic was very good news for some companies, with demand for online activities rocketing. But whilst many parts of the developing world are still suffering, most developed countries are now starting to reopen as vaccinations spread. Western companies are now struggling for chip supplies, due to their lack of local investment. The Chinese market […]
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 […]
US stock markets have been hitting new records recently, as investors swoon over the idea that the $1400 stimulus payments will power a major surge in consumer spending. But unfortunately, the facts show this is most unlikely. The chart from the New York Federal Reserve measures consumers’ intentions with regards to the 3 stimulus cheques […]