The Un-balanced Circular Economy – Demand for Waste Plastic Seen Outpacing Supply
The circular economy – the use of recycled plastics to create basic materials and energy – is a key developing supply chain identified by PLG Consulting for the 2020s. But the circle is more ovoid – as demand for waste plastics will outpace supply.
Circular economy critical mass has been building for years driven by private equity firms and existing large companies investing in this “ESG-trend.” More than 40 new tech providers and new ventures are operating pilot and commercial-scale material recycling plants in North America today or will do so in the next two years. They are likely to produce rail carloads of liquid fuels or plastic resins.
These small chemical plants are being developed close to the source of recycled plastic supply – the consumer household. Not the Gulf Coast.
This supply chain’s first-mile challenge – getting consumers to recycle properly and getting them access to a recycling network. Less than 10% of plastics are recycled and less than 60% of the U.S. has direct access to recycling systems.
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