Gain a holistic view across emerging plastic waste feedstocks for the chemical and mechanical recycling and burn-for-energy sectors

The growth of the chemical recycling sector is redrawing the map of the mixed waste plastic market in Europe.

Mixed plastic waste grades are a key feedstock for chemical recyclers looking to avoid competition with mechanical recycling and utilise material that historically would have been incinerated, landfilled, or used in burn-for-energy applications. This potentially allows the circularity of a number of waste grade that were not previously recycled.

Nevertheless, it is a common misconception that chemical recycling can take any and all types of plastic waste, and there are still a number of technical requirements for waste input depending on which chemical recycling process is used.

Pyrolysis for example, typically requires the minimisation of chlorine content (typically to 0.1% or less) due to its corrosive effect, the removal of PET because it oxygenates the process and does not depolymerise using pyrolysis, and the avoidance of nylon and flame retardants.

At the same time, shortages and high prices of monomaterial recycled plastics have led waste managers and mechanical recyclers to explore the use of mixed plastic waste to make up shortfalls, particularly for non-packaging applications such as construction. Improvements in sorting technology are expected to widen the range of materials mechanical recyclers can utilise in the mid-term.

This is creating greater competition for mixed plastic waste and causing fundamental shifts in the Europe market place. Players are being forced to adapt at speed in what can often be an opaque and difficult to understand landscape.

The mixed plastic waste (Europe) service provides comprehensive pricing and market coverage of key feedstocks for the chemical recycling sector and emerging feedstock for mechanical recycling such as mixed polyolefins, high plastic content and high calorie content refuse derived fuel (RDF) bales and unsorted materials recovery facility (MRF) waste.

The service also includes comprehensive analysis of chemical and mechanical recycling markets, sorting and waste management, investment and macroeconomic trends, legislative and technology developments, pyrolysis oil, and the burn-for-energy sector.

All new and emerging markets are inherently volatile, doubly so when coupled to new technologies and complex supply chains serving multiple competing sectors. The mixed plastic waste pricing service sits alongside our mechanical and chemical recycling supply trackers to give you the actionable insights you need to adapt your strategy, minimise risk and position yourself at the forefront of these key developing market sectors.

ICIS has been covering recycled polymer and plastic waste markets since 2006 and holds multiple price benchmarks across the major recycled polymers of R-PET, R-PE and R-PP, as well as across virgin chemical markets. Our experience gives us the insight to properly contextualise and evaluate the latest market developments and industry trends in a trustworthy, timely and impartial manner.

Key audiences

  • Chemical recyclers
    Understand trends and prices for key feedstocks, and how developments in mechanical recycling, legislation and waste management may impact you.
  • Chemical companies
    Track the developing chemical recycling market discover feedstock trends and prices to fully assess potential partnership and investment opportunities.
  • Waste managers and sorting companies
    Benchmark yourself against common market prices, gain comprehensive insight on downstream sectors and emerging markets.
  • Mechanical recyclers and plastic convertors
    Comprehensive pricing data across mixed plastic waste grades to assist product mix and development decisions.

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