Developing sustainable technologies to create a circular economy for plastics has become increasingly important in industry over the past few years. Increasing customer awareness of the environmental impact of polymers with lifespans of several hundreds of years, as well as a global shift in attitudes towards carbon dioxide emissions from the use of petrochemicals to create new plastics, has resulted in renewed focus on polymer recycling and waste management technologies. Existing technologies have relied upon mechanically sorting and melting plastic waste, which has frequently resulted in "down-cycling" of materials due to high levels of contamination. The issues with current recycling processes are so severe that countries who were previously mass importers of waste for recycling have closed their doors, leading to significant build up of polymer waste. New technologies for recycling contaminated or otherwise unrecyclable polymers are now sought after as a solution to the growing mountain of waste.
Technology and Applications
In 2019, the range of technologies to recycle polymer waste is growing rapidly. Green Technology and Polymer Recycling: Market Analysis 2020-2030 takes an in-depth look into the diverse range of of leading edge companies developing new technologies to process polymer waste. In depth assessments of the latest technologies being developed is provided, with focus on chemical recycling, including depolymerisation, pyrolysis, gasification and solvent extraction. Furthermore, this report cuts through the marketing hype to offer a detailed insight into some of the foremost polymer recycling technology suppliers leading global innovation and bringing potentially disruptive products to market.
This report provides an overview of the technological advancements in polymer recycling to date, a comprehensive insight into the drivers and restraints affecting adoption and implementation at scale, and provides case studies and SWOT analyses for the most prolific disrupters developing novel polymer recycling technologies. IDTechEx conducted exhaustive primary research with companies across a range of industries developing polymer recycling technologies for key insights into the drivers and restraints affecting the growth of this technology.
Key questions that are answered in this report
Who are the key players developing new technologies for polymer recycling? What are the types of new technologies being developed? Which polymers are being actively targeted and why? How do new recycling technologies feed into the polymer value chain? What are the key drivers and restraints of market growth? How can mechanical recycling be disrupted by new polymer recycling technologies? How will revenues from new polymer recycling technologies evolve from 2020-2030?
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Table of Contents
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- 1.1.What is the circular economy?
- 1.2.The filthy five: curbing single use plastics
- 1.3.Global plastics production to grow to 485 Mt in 2028
- 1.4.Historical management of Municipal Solid Waste
- 1.5.China's National Sword policy
- 1.6.Outlook for managing plastic waste in largest producers
- 1.7.What is solvent extraction?
- 1.8.Drivers and restraints
- 1.9.Conversion of plastics to fuels (PTF)
- 1.10.Drivers and restraints
- 1.11.Polymer to monomer and intermediate depolymerisation
- 1.12.Drivers and restraints
- 1.13.Global revenues from polymer recycling
- 1.14.What is the future for polymer recycling?
2. INTRODUCTION: PLASTIC WASTE
- 2.1.Social, economic and environmental megatrends
- 2.2.Reduced carbon dioxide emissions directives
- 2.3.What is the circular economy?
- 2.4.Global supply of plastics has grown exponentially
- 2.5.Polymer types: thermoplastics , thermosets and elastomers
- 2.6.The filthy five: curbing single use plastics
- 2.7.Global plastics production to grow to 485 Mt in 2028
- 2.8.Historical management of Municipal Solid Waste
- 2.9.China's National Sword policy
- 2.10.Outlook for managing plastic waste in largest producers
3. INTRODUCTION: BIOBASED AND BIODEGRADABLE POLYMERS
- 3.1.The range of biobased monomers
- 3.2.Defining "biobased polymers"
- 3.3.Biobased polymers and waste management in 2019
- 3.4.Are biodegradable plastics the solution?
- 3.5.Biobased value add: The Green Premium...
- 3.6....versus the price of Brent Crude
- 3.7.Environmental costs: the rising tide of plastic pollution
- 3.8.Feedstock competition: food or fuel (or plastics)?
- 3.9.Drivers and restraints of market growth
4. RECYCLING TECHNOLOGIES OVERVIEW: POLYMER RECYCLING PROCESSES
- 4.1.Recycling collection methods and facilities
- 4.2.The four types of recycling: process definitions
- 4.3.Opportunities for recycling in the polymer value chain
5. RECYCLING TECHNOLOGIES OVERVIEW: RECYCLING KEY POLYMERS
- 5.1.Recycling key polymer types
- 5.2.Recycling PET
- 5.3.Technology suppliers for PET recycling in this report
- 5.4.Recycling PE
- 5.5.Technology suppliers for PE recycling in this report
- 5.6.Recycling PP
- 5.7.Technology suppliers for PP recycling in this report
- 5.8.Recycling PS
- 5.9.Technology suppliers for PS recycling in this report
6. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY RECYCLING: MECHANICAL RECYCLING
- 6.1.Primary mechanical recycling
- 6.2.Secondary mechanical recycling: collection
- 6.3.Secondary mechanical recycling: decontamination
- 6.4.Secondary mechanical recycling: melt and extrusion
- 6.5.Drivers and restraints of secondary mechanical recycling
7. SECONDARY RECYCLING: SOLVENT EXTRACTION
- 7.1.What is solvent extraction
- 7.2.Vinyloop- PVC warning case study
- 7.3.Technology suppliers
- 7.4.Company profiles
- 7.5.Drivers and restraints
8. TERTIARY RECYCLING: PLASTIC TO FUEL CONVERSION
- 8.1.Conversion of plastics to fuels (PTF)
- 8.2.Incineration, gasification or thermal pyrolysis?
- 8.3.Feedstock materials for PTF conversion
- 8.4.PTF conversion outputs and side products
- 8.5.Technology suppliers
- 8.6.Company profiles
- 8.7.Drivers and restraints
9. TERTIARY RECYCLING: DEPOLYMERISATION
- 9.1.Polymer to monomer and intermediate depolymerisation
- 9.2.Depolymerisation of PET
- 9.3.Depolymerisation of polystyrene
- 9.4.Depolymerisation of polyolefins
- 9.5.Depolymerisation of biodegradable polymers
- 9.6.Technology suppliers by feedstock
- 9.7.Company profiles
- 9.8.Drivers and restraints
10. QUATERNARY RECYCLING: INCINERATION
- 10.1.Waste to energy: polymer incineration
- 10.2.MSW versus coal, oil and gas comparison
- 10.3.Incineration competing with landfill and recycling
- 10.4.Incineration uptake: USA versus Europe
- 10.5.Debate surrounding incineration
11. MARKET FORECASTS AND CONCLUSIONS
- 11.1.Breakeven price point for mechanical recycling
- 11.2.Breakeven for solvent extraction
- 11.3.Breakeven for plastic to fuel conversion
- 11.4.Breakeven for depolymerisation
- 11.5.Global revenues from polymer recycling
- 11.6.What is the future for polymer recycling?
12. APPENDIX: GLOSSARY AND DEFINITIONS