Polypropylene (PP)

Versatility shaping the plastics industry 

Discover the factors influencing polypropylene (PP) markets

With its unique properties and versatility, polypropylene (PP) is an invaluable global commodity, influencing key industries from packaging and automotive to electrical and household. Its ability to be manufactured into various end-uses such as plastic car parts and textiles has made PP an essential market to understand and navigate. Even the slightest change can have the most significant impact. This is why our experts are embedded in markets across the globe, monitoring, tracking and understanding developments affecting PP so you can make the best decisions with the right information.

At ICIS, we uncover what exactly is driving PP markets, bringing data and intelligence to the next level to enable you to better react with insight. We exist to bring you market clarity and transparency, delivering world-class intelligence on the marketplace from our unparalleled network of global experts.

Learn about our solutions for polypropylene (PP)

Pricing, news and analysis

Maximise profitability in uncertain markets with ICIS’ full range of solutions for PP, including current and historic pricing, forecasts, supply and demand data, news and analysis.

Data solutions

Learn about Insight, Hindsight and Foresight, our dedicated commodity solutions accessible through our subscriber platform, ICIS ClarityTM or Data as a Service channels.

ICIS training

Keep up to date in today’s rapidly evolving commodity markets with expert online and in-person workshops and courses covering chemical and energy supply chains and market dynamics. ICIS offers a range of introductory and advanced topics as well as bespoke, in-house training.

Related industries

Find out how ICIS’ expert data and analytics for Polypropylene (PP) help companies in your sector.

Consumer durables and non-durables

Confidently plan ahead with a clear view of demand for raw materials and packaging chains.

Health and Pharmaceutical 

Anticipate demand and minimise exposure with industry-leading pricing, news and analysis.

Plastics and Rubber converter 

Optimise procurement with an end-to-end view of resins and feedstock supply chains.

2024 and beyond: global chemicals outlook

The global landscape for chemicals has changed significantly, with a lower demand growth expected to persist, however within these challenges and changes lies opportunity for those who adapt.

Polypropylene (PP) news

German auto industry opposes EU tariffs on EVs from China

LONDON (ICIS)–Germany’s auto industry is opposed to tariffs on electric vehicles (EVs) from China, trade group German Association of the Automotive Industry said on Wednesday. The group, known as VDA in its German acronym, was reacting to a European Commission proposal of tariffs on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from China after an investigation concluded they benefited from unfair subsidies. VDA said the proposed tariffs were not the right tool to strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s auto industry. Instead, the tariffs would further escalate the risk of trade conflicts, to the detriment of Germany’s automakers, it said. “The fact is that we need China to solve global problems,” in particularly in dealing with the climate crisis, it said. China played a crucial role in a successful transformation towards electromobility and digitalization, and a trade conflict would jeopardize this transformation, the group said. However, VDA added that the extent of the subsidies China grants EV makers was “a challenge” for Europe and it called on China to make “constructive proposals” to settle the dispute. Germany ranks first in Europe and second after China globally in terms of EV production, and the bulk of German EV production goes into export, according to VDA data released this week. Industry observers have noted that Germany-based EV production relies on imports of materials and batteries from China. The US last month announced tariff hikes on Chinese imports of EVs, batteries and other materials, starting 1 August. In related news, the business climate in Germany’s automotive industry deteriorated in May amid fears about impacts on German automakers from the conflict with China, according to a recent survey by Munich-based ifo research. The automotive industry is a major global consumer of petrochemicals that contributes more than one-third of the raw material costs of an average vehicle. The automotive sector drives demand for chemicals such as polypropylene (PP), along with nylon, polystyrene (PS), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), polyurethane (PU), methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Additional reporting by Graeme Paterson Please also visit the ICIS topic page Automotive: Impact on chemicals Thumbnail photo shows a Volkswagen EV; photo source: Volkswagen


India’s GAIL to build $7.2bn Madhya Pradesh petrochemical complex

MUMBAI (ICIS)–State-owned GAIL (India) Ltd plans to invest Indian rupee (Rs) 600 billion ($7.2 billion) to build an ethane cracker and its derivative plants in Madhya Pradesh. The cracker will have a 1.5 million tonne/year capacity and will be set up at Ashta in the Sehore district of the state in central India, GAIL said in a regulatory disclosure to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on 10 June. GAIL did not provide product or capacity details of the ethylene derivatives it plans to produce at the complex. “Around 800 hectares of land shall be provided by the MP [Madhya Pradesh] Industrial Development Corporation, for which the state government has already initiated the process,” GAIL said. Project construction is expected to begin by February 2025, with commercial production likely in the financial year ending March 2031, it added. Investment on the project is still pending approval from GAIL management board, and the mode of financing yet to be decided. The Madhya Pradesh state government has approved the project and land will be allotted soon, state chief minister Mohan Yadav had said in a statement on 7 June. He said that “petrochemicals like linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), mono ethylene glycol (MEG) and propylene will be produced” at the site. The new project is part of GAIL’s initiative to enhance its petrochemical portfolio, a company source said. “The demand for petrochemicals is increasing in the country, led by expanding industrial, construction and manufacturing,” he said, citing an 8-9% annual growth rate in India’s polymer demand. In March 2024, GAIL had signed a tripartite agreement with Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Shell Energy India to explore opportunities for the import of ethane and other hydrocarbons at Shell Energy Terminal in Hazira in the western Gujarat state. Separately, the company recently announced plans to set up liquid pipeline for ethylene (C2), propylene (C3) from Vijaipur to Aurai in the northern Uttar Pradesh state. At Pata in the same state, GAIL will begin operations at the 60,000 tonne/year PP plant by December 2024. At Usar in the western Maharashtra state, GAIL expects to begin operations at its 500,000 tonne/year propane dehydrogenation unit (PDH) and 500,000 tonnes/year polypropylene (PP) line by April 2025; and its 50,000 tonne/year isopropylene project by December 2025. In the southern Karnataka state, the company expects to bring on line its 1.25m tonne/year purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Mangalore by March 2025. GAIL had acquired JBF Petrochemicals in June 2023 which allowed it to add PTA to its existing petrochemical portfolio. ($1 = Rs83.49) Focus article by Priya Jestin


Chile’s Petroquim navigating better than peers pressure from Asian material – exec

SANTIAGO (ICIS)–Polypropylene (PP) producer Petroquim is also facing pressure from lower-priced material sent from Asia, but the company’s “dedicated” service to customers has kept its sales spared from a larger hit, according to the commercial manager at the Chilean company. Veronica Masjuan said that, as the sole PP producer in Chile, Petroquim will always be able to have a pool of potential customers larger than its actual production, a key element allowing the company to protect its “small market share” in a country where PP imports have always played a key role to supply the market. Founded in 1998, Petroquim operates a PP plant in Talcahuano, near the city of Concepcion, 500 kilometers south of Santiago. It has the capacity to produce 120,000 tonnes/year, according to the ICIS Supply & Demand database, although in 2023 it produced 61,000 tonnes. ASIAN PRESSUREAcross Latin America, producers of polymers have in the past two years been under intense pressure from lower-priced Asian material, especially Chinese material, which has been sent, on occasion, at below cost-of-production prices. Masjuan said it was not for her to say if China’s exports constituted an example of dumping – “that would be for policymakers to do” – but said that lower prices in the past two years had indeed put pressure on Petroquim’s margins. “The truth is that their [China’s] prices are very economical compared to the global PP prices, when you add the costs associated with production or delivery, for instance,” said Masjuan. “Given that our market share is small, we have managed to protect it quite well: my sales capacity is much larger than what I produce, so to speak. But it is true that lower international prices have also affected our margins.” However, Masjuan said Petroquim has always managed to return a profit, even in 2023, which is considered the hardest year amid the downcycle the global petrochemicals sector is going through. RECYCLINGMasjuan said that Chile is more ahead than other countries in Latin America in tackling the plastic waste issue, as regulations in that regard started decades ago. Asked whether a true circular economy in which everything is 100% recycled could put polymers producers such as Petroquim out of business, she said that is unlikely because total circularity would be very difficult to achieve. “Chile was one of the first countries to adopt mandates about plastic carrier bags, for instance. We have some experience on this front, and at Petroquim we have a person exclusively dedicated to circularity issues,” said Masjuan. “Who is to blame for the plastic waste pollution? I think that first and foremost the responsibility falls with the consumer, the user of the final plastic product. Meanwhile, I do agree that producers, for sure, need to be in constant search for new methods to make the products more recyclable. “But, overall, I believe not 100% of all polymers will be recycled, ever, and especially those for food contact. For instance, in the EU, one of the most advanced regions in that regard, they don’t allow 100% recycled content for food contact either.” Front page picture: Petroquim’s PP plant in Talcahuano Source: Petroquim  Additional reporting by Bruno Menini and Thais Matsuda


Europe top stories: weekly summary

LONDON (ICIS)–Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Europe for the week ended 7 June. Global urea prices firm as unexpected gas outages hit Egypt The near-term outlook for urea has firmed after prices saw a surprise uptick in North Africa and the Arab Gulf on news of unscheduled plant shutdowns in Egypt due to a lack of gas supply. Europe PET market tension intensifies on freight surcharges, container shortage Rising freight costs and a dearth of containers is thwarting the global flow of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into Europe. Eurozone private sector momentum hits one-year high in May Business momentum in the eurozone hit the highest level in 12 months in May, pushing further into growth territory as service sector orders surged and the manufacturing industry showed signs of recovery. Heavy rainfall, flooding in Germany hits supply routes Torrential rain and flooding in Germany has led to evacuations in parts of the south of the country, hitting already-strained supply lines through central Europe and halting transport along some sections of the River Rhine. IPEX: Index down for first time this year on weak demand in all regions The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) was down 1.2% in May month on month, as weak downstream demand paved the way for price declines in all regions. Europe PE/PP June outlook muddied by falling feedstock costs and rising freight rates Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) prices in Europe were largely stable for the final week of May, as players were waiting for upstream contract prices to settle.


BLOG: China’s economic challenges continue to be made clear by PP spreads

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. China remains in my view trapped between an economic rock of being unable to significantly boost domestic consumption and the hard place of a more difficult export climate. Until or unless China fixes weak healthcare and pension systems – and maybe also does something to give rural migrants to urban areas better job opportunities and wages by changing the Hukou residency system – the growth in domestic spending is unlikely to be at the levels we saw during the 1992-2021 Petrochemicals Supercycle. And we must factor in the loss of growth momentum resulting from the end of a real-estate bubble. Real estate is worth some 29% of China’s GDP. “If China is to maintain growth rates of 4-5% per year, it can only do so if the rest of the world agrees to reduce its own investment and manufacturing levels to less than half the Chinese level,” wrote Michael Pettis in a December 2023 article for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The rest of the world is hardy likely to accommodate China given the big reshoring push resulting from the Inflation Reduction Act and the EU Green Deal. Investigations into allegedly unfair China trading practices have also increased along with antidumping measures. At the risk of being boring (I’ve probably gone well beyond just a risk), consider the latest version of my PP spreads (it is the same pattern in polyethylene), which is the main chart in today’s post. Despite recent stimulus announcements, average CFR PP price spreads over CFR Japan naphtha costs remain at a record low in 2024 since we began our price assessments in 2003. The table at the bottom of the chart shows PP spreads during the 1992-2021 Petrochemicals Supercycle compared with spreads from January 2022 up until 7 June this year. Until average spreads recover by 149% from where they were up until 7 June, there will have been no return to the great markets we saw during the Supercycle. Meanwhile, too capacity will continue to chase too little demand. Editor’s note: This blog post is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS.


Yearly average R-PP post-industrial bale prices at record low in 2024 to date

LONDON (ICIS)–Average yearly recycled polypropylene (R-PP) post-industrial black bale values in 2024 to date are at their lowest level on record on the back of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on key end-use sectors such as construction and horticulture. May monthly average post-industrial black bale prices in 2024 reached the lowest level seen in May since 2020. Sentiment beyond Q2 remains weak, with players increasingly concerned in the past few weeks over substitution risk to virgin, macroeconomic weakness (particularly in the construction sector), the end of the peak horticulture season, and the approach of the summer holiday period. The yearly average price for post-industrial black bales is at its lowest on record to date in 2024. Year Average price (€/tonne) 2020 286 2021 518 2022 555 2023 302 2024 (to date) 280 ICIS began pricing R-PP post-industrial bales in November 2019. Prices in the first half of the year for post-industrial grades are typically higher than in the second half of the year. Historically, post-industrial bale values are typically highest in the first half of the year (due to the peak horticulture, outdoor furniture and construction seasons) through to July, before typically hitting their lowest point for the year in Q3, before rebounding in Q4 (although remaining below the average for the year). This is clearly shown in the below seasonality chart. The seasonality index shows which months in the year prices are typically higher than average, and which months they are typically lower than average, and to what extent. It reveals the underlying trading patterns in markets beyond short-term supply-and-demand conditions. The average price is represented by 1.00. When the index is below 1.00 it means that prices are typically below average in that month, and when above 1.00 it means prices are typically above average in that month, with the distance from 1.00 showing the extent. It is calculated by first dividing each monthly price by the average price for that year to give an index value. Then, all of those monthly index values are averaged to give a single value for each month. Those averaged monthly values are used to plot the seasonality index. The longer a price series has been running, the more accurate the seasonality index. The lull in Q3 is typically due to the impact of downstream convertor closures. During July and August, downstream convertors typically shut for several weeks of routine maintenance. Typically southern Europe shuts earlier than northern Europe, with the majority of northern Europe shutdowns occurring in August. There has been repeated talk in the past few weeks of German convertors shutting as early as late June this year due to negative macroeconomic conditions in the country. Convertor summer shutdowns have a significant impact on bale values, because waste volumes continue to enter the chain, lengthening the market. If shutdowns occur earlier than typical in 2024, this could exacerbate the oversupply. There remains a wide spread between natural bales and black and mixed-coloured post-industrial bales. Post-industrial bale natural prices have been as high as €700/tonne ex-works NWE in recent weeks. As with post-industrial bales, black pellet prices are typically at their highest in the first half of the year, and at their lowest in the second half of the year (compared to the average price for the year). This is due to the seasonality of the horticulture and construction sectors, where peak seasons typically take place in the first half of the year when temperatures are higher. This is shown in the below seasonality graph. Natural post-industrial pellets share a similar seasonal trend, although the peak tends to happen at the start of the year (due to restocking following the year-end) with natural post-industrial material not as exposed to the horticulture sector as black and mixed-coloured material. Focus article by Mark Victory


PODCAST: Europe, Middle East, south Asia, Africa PE & PP outlook for June – calm masks complex, competing trends

LONDON (ICIS)–Jumping freight rates, political elections and monsoons are all at play for June in various polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) markets around the world, so while it is potentially a calm month on the surface, there is a complex mix of factors to watch. Senior editors for PE and PP, Nadim Salamoun and Ben Lake join senior editor manager Vicky Ellis to discuss the June outlook for Europe, Middle East, south Asia and Africa. They also touch on May as a busy month for PE and PP, pointing listeners to ICIS coverage at APIC in Seoul and Italy’s plastic tax extension. Podcast edited by Nick Cleeve


Brazil’s Braskem expects operations at Triunfo to normalize in ‘coming days’

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Braskem’s operations at Triunfo in floods-hit state of Rio Grande do Sul are still yet fully normalized, despite the plant having restarted more than two weeks ago, a spokesperson said to ICIS on Wednesday. The company expects operations to return to normal “in coming days”, the spokesperson added, without providing more details about exact timelines. Braskem’s facilities at the Triunfo petrochemicals hub, near the state’s largest city of Porto Alegre, are a key production hub for Brazilian polymers, but transport to and from the facilities was heavily disrupted by the historic floods. That made access for employees and inputs almost impossible for the most of May. “If weather conditions and access to the complex remain stable, the units are expected to be operational as planned in the coming days. Access to the Triunfo complex by road has already been cleared,” said Braskem’s spokesperson. “Employees are mostly using buses and minibuses contracted by the company to access the complex. Trucks are also circulating on the roads, gradually regularizing logistics operations.” For Braskem’s capacities at Triunfo, see bottom section. LONG ROAD TO NORMALITY At the peak of the crisis, which began on 29 April, around 90% of industrial facilities in Rio Grande do Sul were shut because of the floods, according to local authorities. The state is an industrial and agricultural powerhouse within Brazil and shutdowns there had a knock-on effect on other industrial sectors. Automotive majors Volkswagen and Stellantis, for instance, were forced to shut or reduce operating rates at some of their facilities in Brazil and Argentina, which depended on automotive parts suppliers in Rio Grande do Sul. Both companies confirmed to ICIS this week that they are returning to operations, although Stellantis’s plant in Goiana, in the state of Pernambuco, is still operating at reduced rates. Earlier this week the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed activity in May had greatly been impacted by the floods aftermath. Moreover, this week Brazil’s statistics office IBGE said GDP in the first quarter had registered healthy growth of 0.8%, quarter on quarter, but analysts have said economic output may sharply slowdown in the second quarter because of the impact of the floods. Meanwhile, while road transport may be slowly normalizing, one of the state’s three main ports – Porto Alegre – remains shut to operations, Portos RS, the ports authority in Rio Grande do Sul, said on Wednesday morning. The Port of Pelotas was shut until mid-May, while the Port of Rio Grande was never affected by the floods. The destruction caused by Brazil’s worst flooding in history will take many months, years perhaps, to return to normal operations. The Federal government has announced credit lines with generous financing terms, but industrial groups in the state have said they are insufficient. Analysts have pointed out that the fertilizers markets may be hit by the roads as planting in Rio Grande do Sul’s important agricultural sector will be affected. According to the emergency services in the state, more than 35,000 people are still taking refuge in shelters, while nearly 600,000 remain displaced from their homes. In the state, with a population of 12 million, nearly 2.4 million people have been affected by the floods, which left 172 dead and 44 people unaccounted for. TRIUNFO KEY FOR PLASTICS Braskem is Brazil’s sole manufacturer of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), the most widely used polymers. Its market share in 2023 for PE stood at 56% and for PP at 70%, according to figures from the ICIS Supply & Demand Database. The Triunfo complex, meanwhile, is key for the country’s polymers supply chain, accounting for nearly 37% of Brazil’s PP capacity and 40% of PE capacity. Brazil’s total PP production capacity is nearly 2 million tonnes/year. PE capacity is about 3 million tonnes/year, with 41% being high-density polyethylene (HDPE), 33% being linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and 26% being low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Braskem’s Triunfo complex can produce 740,000 tonnes/year of PP, 550,000 tonnes/year of HDPE, 385,000 tonnes/year of LDPE and 300,000 tonnes/year of LLDPE. Front page picture: Braskem's facilities in Triunfo Source: Braskem  Additional information by Bruno Menini


Latin America stories: weekly summary

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Here are some of the stories from ICIS Latin America for the week ended on 31 May. NEWS Brazil’s Porto Alegre port still shut after flooding, industry demands more support The Port of Porto Alegre remains shut one month after severe flooding hit the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, while trade groups are asking the authorities to extend their financial support to speed up the recovery. Automotive major Stellantis plants in Argentina, Brazil still affected by floods aftermath Stellantis’ facilities in Argentina remain shut and its plant in Goiana, northeast Brazil, has also partially stopped, a spokesperson for the global automotive major said to ICIS on Friday. Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien halts three Brazil fertilizer blending plants Canadian fertilizer major Nutrien has announced a decision to halt three fertilizer blending plants in Brazil as it undergoes a reorganization of their operations for improved efficiency within the country. Brazil’s Unigel on force majeure for HIPS due to lack of input from Triunfo Unigel has declared force majeure for high impact polystyrene (HIPS) because one supplier based in Brazil’s floods-hit state of Rio Grande do Sul cannot deliver the feedstock, according to a letter to customers seen by ICIS. Brazil’s chemicals importers mobilize against tariffs hike proposed by producers Brazil’s importers of chemicals are lobbying the cabinet not to implement the hikes to import tariffs proposed by the country’s producers, represented by trade group Abiquim. PRICING LatAm PP domestic, international prices unchanged as market awaits June prices Domestic and international polypropylene (PP) prices were assessed as unchanged this week across Latin American (LatAm) countries. LatAm PP domestic, international prices unchanged as market awaits June prices Domestic and international polypropylene (PP) prices were assessed as unchanged this week across Latin American (LatAm) countries.


INSIGHT: Italy’s plastic packaging tax delay proves most companies still focused on costs over sustainability

LONDON (ICIS)–The postponement of Italy’s plastic packaging tax to July 2026 shows that, for many brands and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, the threat of financial penalties or the push of regulatory obligation is still the main driver for increasing the use of recycled plastics in packaging. Italy has extended the rollout of its €450/tonne plastic packaging tax until July 2026, marking the seventh postponement of the tax which was due to come into effect in July this year. ICIS asked participants across several polymer markets what this means for both the virgin and recycled sectors, and the responses overwhelmingly point to the fact that, without heavy financial penalties or a legal requirement under either state or EU law, many companies will currently opt for cost savings over sustainability. DELAYING RECYCLED DEMANDThe tax would add €450/tonne to the price of virgin plastic in Italy, but the postponement led many sources to expect companies that were considering increasing the use of recycled plastics to stick with virgin material for now. In the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market, those companies that were following the development of the legislation will now continue to use PET rather than switch to recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET), according to one beverage brand. This view was echoed by others, with a converter serving the market stating companies will stay with virgin polymer for the next two years without the financial incentive to move to more recycled content. One virgin polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) producer now sees less pressure to both a circular economy solution as well as investment in the recycling sector. Other comments from market sources reiterated the fact that, without this tax in place, the businesses in or serving the Italian market have lost their incentive to move to higher recycled content levels, especially at a time when prices for recycled material such as R-PET and recycled polystyrene (PS) are commanding a significant premium over their virgin counterparts IMPACTING INVESTMENTAnother common thread running through the reactions to the delay was the impact it could have on investment in certain recycled sectors. One virgin PS source said it expected a slowdown in the development of recycled PS, highlighting the current gap between higher-priced recycled PS and virgin PS preventing companies from exploring the recycled market more. Adding €450/tonne to the price of the virgin material is a substantial step to disincentivize the use of PS and drive people towards recycled PS. A second PS market participant said countries need a mechanism like a tax to promote recycled content and the absence of such a driver will make investment in recycled PS harder. From the brand side, a large FMCG said having the tax in place would help incentivize its customers to use more recycled content, but for the time being it would have to rely on its own and its customers’ sustainability targets – those that have them – to continue to support the argument for the use of recyclate. WIDER RECYCLING ISSUESWhile the delay of the tax only impacts the Italian market, it points to a wider issue seen across both European and global markets when it comes to increasing recycled material usage. Without the financial incentive of something like a tax, or without the legal obligation of a regulation, directive or law, many companies right now will choose margins over sustainability especially in a challenging macroeconomic climate. A good example is the upcoming implementation of the Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD), which among other things, mandates the use of 25% R-PET in PET beverage bottles from 1 January 2025. Many R-PET market participants have yet to see demand for R-PET reach the levels expected ahead of implementation. The issue is linked to the lack of clarity around how the SUPD will work; how the 25% will be measured – by individual unit or country-wide incorporation – who will be checking the percentage of R-PET in the bottles and what the penalties will be for those who miss the target. Some R-PET sources think some brands may simply declare they are using R-PET when they are not because they do not expect they will be audited, or others may simply ignore the Directive because of a lack of enforcement. It was a similar situation with the Spanish €450/tonne plastic packaging tax in January 2023. R-PET sources saw no impact on demand last year – though that may have been caused by the wider cost-of-living crisis impacting consumer demand during 2023 – and it was only in May this year that the first Spanish company has reportedly been audited by Spanish authorities to ensure compliance. The UK is an interesting case study in the use of a tax to drive recycled plastic inclusion. In the financial year 2022-2023, Plastic Packaging Tax (PPR) receipts collected by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) totaled £276 million. Government data shows of the total plastic packaging manufactured in and imported into the UK, 39% was declared as taxable under the PPT, and of the remaining 61% declared, 40% contained 30% or more recycled plastic. While there was a good proportion of recycled plastic placed into packaging during the financial year, the £276 million collected shows that many companies paid the £200/tonne rather than pay more for recycled material. There are instances that show alternative approaches to taxation or regulation can have a positive impact on the recycling sector. In France, lower eco-modulation fees – a form of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – on the sorting of mixed plastic waste led to the creation of a recycling stream for low density polyethylene (LDPE) flexible materials and a growing market for recycled low density polyethylene (R-LDPE) bales and pellets, for example. Eco-modulation fees can also encourage the use of certain types of material but also disincentivize the use of others, as seen in the Czech Republic, where the eco-modulation fee for using clear PET bottles was lowered in 2021, while the fee for placing coloured PET bottles on the market – perceived to be harder to recycle than clear – was increased. The reaction to the Italian tax, the revenue generated by the UK tax and the seeming lack of urgency from some beverage brands ahead of the SUPD indicates that for many companies currently, increasing the use of recycled plastic is nowhere near the top of their list of priorities. While consumers focus on reducing the cost of living and companies focus on improving squeezed margins, investment in recycling and the drive to reducing virgin plastic consumption will most likely take a back seat for now. Additional reporting by Stephanie Wix, Caroline Murray, Ben Monroe-Lake, Carolina Perujo Holland and Mark Victory Insight article by Matt Tudball


Events and training


Build your networks and grow your business at ICIS’ industry-leading events. Hear from high-profile speakers on the issues, technologies and trends driving commodity markets.


Keep up to date in today’s dynamic commodity markets with expert online and in-person training covering chemicals, fertilizers and energy markets.

Contact us

In today’s dynamic and interconnected energy markets, partnering with ICIS unlocks a vision of a future you can trust and achieve. Our unrivalled network of energy industry experts delivers a comprehensive market view based on trusted data, insight and analytics, supporting our partners as they transact today and plan for tomorrow.

Get in touch to find out more.