Rise in the Demand of Chemical Recycling Globally
- 27-Sep-2021 1:00 PM
- Journalist: Bob Duffler
Chemical recycling is a broad term used for a number of methods that use different production routes in order to generate new materials from waste. Some of the common chemical recycling methods include pyrolysis, gasification, hydrolysis, glycolysis, and dissolution. In the process of chemical recycling, chemical process are used to extract the final product, which is the monomer or all the way back to crude oil or energy as against mechanical processes in the process of mechanical recycling.
The demand for chemical recycling is increasing due to the rise in the demand of recycled food and beverage packaging which is experiencing demand growth due to targets set by brand owners and increasing environmental regulations supporting plastic recycling.
Chemical recycling plants are mushrooming all around the North America now with almost forty functional chemical recycling plants. North America follows after Europe where most of the plants have started up in the past couple years. Major chemical recycling products include RPET, Recycled Polyethylene etc.
The demand for chemical recycling is rising due to the advantages it have over mechanical recycling. The tensile strength of the material doesn’t get affected in chemical recycling and the product resin has properties very similar to virgin material which facilitates its usage in food and beverage packaging.
The major roadblocks in the rising demand for chemical recycling include high cost of chemical recycling as compared to mechanical recycling and low yields. Chemical recycling also requires a minimum quality of the waste feedstock to ensure high process yield and quality of products. Lower plastic collection rate is also a major challenge in the rise in the demand of chemical recycling.
As per ChemAnalyst, “the rising demand for chemical recycling is an indication that companies and regulatory bodies are moving towards more sustainable solutions when it comes to plastic recycling. Chemical recycling in particular holds high prospects of demand growth due to the high quality of products that it generates for the food and beverage industry.”