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How Corona affects our business

By Roel Wollaert; Dutch PET Recycling _________ Arnhem, 27 March 2020

Normally our posts are about market developments and news within the rPET or circular plastic industry. But the news nowadays is of course about the Corona virus. It affects all of us around the world. In this article we will give a brief overview how it has affected us so far and we will share some thoughts with you.

At Dutch PET Recycling everybody is working at home. Communication still goes rapidly with video calls and mailing. What we do miss is the face-to-face contact with our suppliers and customers. We are convinced that seeing is believing. That’s why we normally visit our suppliers and their production facilities. The time saved by not travelling we now use online. For example to promote our new website: www.dutchpetrecycling.com

At the beginning of 2020 the prospects for the recycling industry were very promising. Awareness about waste reduction and reducing CO2 emission is constantly growing. People do sort their waste more and more. Collection of waste becomes more efficient. Governments are setting targets for recycling and industries are thinking more about sustainable product designs and commit themselves to use more recycled material.

That all is good news for our suppliers. Some of them are relatively small companies, where quite a lot of families depend on. As far as we know now, the virus hasn’t caught them. Besides the health threat of Corona also an economic crisis is coming. Collecting waste might become more difficult. That will differ per region and luckily for us and our customers we have a great network of suppliers.

Sea transport is already facing some problems. Some ports do have restrictions or are locked down for a period. But most of the ports are still operating and must do that to keep the necessary (food) chains working. Also here people are working out of their home (office). This sometimes causes  delay in communication. Also prices fluctuate a lot. Overall we are very satisfied with our freight forwarders who constantly think along with us to keep the service as high as possible.

The good news in relation to our customers is that most of them operate within the food chain. Plastic packaging for confectionery or fresh food. Being an essential producer means that you don’t need to go in a lock down.

We hope and wish that everyone stays healthy. The market developments before the Corona outbreak looked very promising and we are convinced that the world will conquer the virus. It will be a matter of time. The longer it takes the worser the economic crisis will be. But at the end we think the recycling industry has a promising future ahead and that we will quickly recover from this temporarily relapse.

Wishing you and all your beloved ones a healthy and economic fruitful future.

On behalf of all employees and agents at Dutch PET Recycling.

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Chemical-recycling is growing

Companies are developing several chemical recycling technologies as they face pressure from:

  • Consumers;
  • regulators and investors

to keep plastic out of oceans and landfills.

Shoppers are actually willing to pay more for sustainable products. Not only are consumers demanding natural and healthier products, they want them sold in packaging that can be recycled and reused. Companies that sell directly to consumers are feeling this pressure, and they are relying on chemical companies to provide them with materials to placate their customers. Employees are also demanding that their employers do more to promote sustainability.

The rise of environmental, social and governance investing will create another sustainability front for chemical companies. Some lenders are even issuing loans whose interest rates are tied to borrowers meeting sustainability goals.

Chemical recycling is one way that companies can meet these demands from lenders, investors, employees and consumers.

ADVANTAGES OF CHEMICAL RECYCLING              
Chemical recycling is the ultimate closed-loop system because:

  • It brings plastics back to feedstocks that can be used to make virgin resin.
  • It also avoids some of the problems with mechanical recycling.
    • Under mechanical recycling, waste plastic is re-processed without being broken down chemically.
    • In mechanical recycling, plastics of different grades and with varying additives get mixed up, resulting in material that is heterogenous. This compromises the qualities of the material. In addition, each time a plastic is re-heated and re-processed, it becomes degraded. As the quality of the recycled plastic deteriorates, it goes into less demanding applications. Ultimately, it ends up in the trash.
  • Chemical recycling avoids this problem because it breaks down plastic into oils and monomers, which can be used to make virgin resins.
  • Polymers such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are chemically recycled through pyrolysis to produce oil. Pyrolysis can tolerate different grades of plastic, but the end product is an oil, which often needs further refining before it can be converted into monomers and new polymers.
  • Condensation plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) can be chemically recycled into valuable monomers, which require little processing before they can be used to make new plastics. The problem is that the waste condensation-plastics cannot tolerate much contamination before they can be recycled.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) presents its own problems since the chlorine in the polymer can react during chemical processes to produce harmful byproducts.

Given the challenges for chemical recycling, mechanical recycling can still play an important role. It doesn’t require the upfront capital costs involved with building chemical plants.

Ideally, mechanical and chemical recycling would work side by side with waste-to-energy operations at a recycling centre.

Sorting could be done by consumer, since this would require little effort on their parts. Plastic deposit fees – similar to those for bottles or aluminium cans – could give consumers more incentive to separate and sort their plastic waste.

The logistics involved with collecting plastics is as much of a challenge as perfecting the technologies involved with recycling polymers, be it mechanically or chemically.

Article based on the information of Insight article ICIS by Al Greenwood.

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New initiative for a circular plastics economy

March 6th 2020 Launch of the European Plastics Pact

About the European Plastics Pact

Initially led by France, the Netherlands and Denmark, the European Plastic Pact is a public-private coalition that forms a European network of companies, states and other organisations such as NGOs on mastering single-use plastic products and packaging.

In the face of the proliferation of plastic waste, the aim of the pact is to set ambitious common objectives and to encourage cooperation, innovation and harmonisation at the European level, in order to bring about a truly circular European plastics economy.

The Pact relies on the “pioneers” in the plastics value chain and on the most committed governments, in order to create a bold movement that will pave the way for the rest of the market.

The Pact works on all levels to reduce the release of plastics into the environment: by improving the recyclability and reusability of products by design, by shifting to a more responsible use of plastics, by increasing collection, sorting and recycling, and by incorporating more recycled materials into new products and packaging.

Mastering the use of plastics in a circular economy

Plastics are everywhere in our daily lives, bringing many economic and environmental benefits. Plastics are strong, durable and versatile materials. They enhance comfort, safety and hygiene. Using plastics packaging can increase the shelf life of products and reduce fuel costs in transportation of goods, helping to cut carbon emissions. All this has resulted in a huge surge in plastics production. Over the past fifty years, the global use of plastics has increased twentyfold and is still growing.

At the same time, plastic waste is increasingly becoming a global problem, as reuse and recycling of plastics have not kept pace. This is because many products and packaging types are not designed for reuse or effective recycling. Not all use of plastics is necessary for product functionality. In addition, collection, sorting and recycling are still underdeveloped. This means a significant proportion of our plastic waste is still being incinerated or goes to landfill, which negatively affect carbon emissions. Another part ends up as litter in our environment, where it may harm wildlife or degrade into potentially harmful microplastics. While all this valuable material is being wasted, the proportion of fossil fuel being used to produce new plastics continues to grow (from 6% of oil production now to an estimated 20% by 2050).

The common vision

To tackle plastics waste and pollution at the source, we need to fundamentally rethink the way we produce, use and reuse plastics. No single organisation or individual can do this on its own. It requires a systemic shift, involving collective action by businesses from across the plastics value chain, governments, and civil society. A common vision aligns all actors on a joint understanding of what good looks like. It guides the search for solutions and aligns actions taken in the European Plastics Pact on a common sense of direction.

For plastics, the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy has set out a vision for a plastics circular economy in the EU. For plastic packaging, the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, has united more than 400 organisations from across the global plastics packaging value chain behind a common vision of a circular economy for plastics. These include plastic packaging producers, consumer goods companies, retailers, companies involved in the collection, sorting and recycling of plastics, as well as national, regional and city governments, NGOs, financial institutions, industry associations, universities and other international organisations such as the World Economic Forum and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). National plastics pacts, such as The French National Pact on Plastic Packaging, the Plastics Pact NL and the UK Plastics Pact have taken action towards the same common vision for a circular economy for plastics. The European Plastics Pact adopts this vision, as this provides a global framework for our actions.

Infographic European Plastics Pact

The Goals:

  • Reusability and recyclability by design
    • To design all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products brought to the market by participants to be reusable where possible, and in all cases to be recyclable by 2025.
  • Responsible use of plastics
    • To shift towards a more responsible use of plastic packaging and single-use plastic products, aiming for a reduction in virgin plastic products and packaging of at least 20% (by weight) by 2025, with half of this reduction coming from an absolute reduction of plastics.
  • Collection, sorting and recycling
    • To raise the collection, sorting and recycling capacity in the involved countries of all plastics used in packaging and single use products by at least 25 percentage points by 2025 and to reach a quality standard of the output of the collection, sorting, and recycling process that matches market demand for recycled plastics.
  • Use of recycled plastics
    • To boost recycled plastics use in new products and packaging as much as possible by 2025, with plastics-using company achieving an average of at least 30% recycled plastics (in weight) in their range of products and packaging.
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Plastics and Climate: A deal for the future!

This article published by PlasticsEurope gives you good examples why plastics and climate can be an ideal combination. Especially if recycled PET or Food Grade pellets are used.

When it comes to climate change mitigation, plastics have a great story to tell.

Europe can only succeed on the global stage if it drives also the transition towards a low carbon, resource efficient and circular economy. For this to happen, plastics enable the innovations that are needed by a sustainability strategy – such as the European Green Deal – to deliver.

Key for Europe’s building & construction renovation wave

You do not necessarily see plastics in your building, but they are there. Plastics are a springboard for the renovation wave in the building sector as they enable big energy savings and are carbon efficient. Plastic insulation improves the energy efficiency of your home, which translates into a positive impact on climate. In fact, it saves up to 80% of your energy consumption and 250 times more energy than used to produce it.


This revolutionary home could be a game-changer. (JD Composites)

“Tectonic” shift towards sustainable mobility

You may not be aware of where plastics are used in your car, but they are doing their job for you – in car body parts, airbags, carpets, electrification, under the hood, to name but a few.

Thanks to its lightweight properties, plastics contribute efficiently to fuel savings which translate into lower CO2 emissions in diverse fields of transport, including electric mobility. Plastics enable up to 35% fuel savings compared to components made from other materials.


Plastics are used a lot in cars

Preserving food from farm to fork

Food waste is one of the biggest challenges of our society. Plastic packaging saves food by protecting it from external factors – damage, deterioration, spoilage from farm to fork and ensuring hygiene. Research shows that, if food were packed in a material other than plastics, the related energy consumption would double, greenhouse gas emissions would nearly triple, overall weight of packaging would quadruple, and food waste would increase.

The weight of plastic packaging has been reduced by more than 35% over a 20-year period. Lightweight packaging means lighter loads or fewer lorries needed to ship the same amount of products, helping to reduce transportation energy, decrease emissions and lower shipping costs.

Transforming the energy sector

Plastics enable the production of clean and renewable energy as windmill blades and solar panels are made with plastics. In a nutshell, plastics can make the difference by providing solutions for affordable renovation of households, sustainable transport, easier access to safe food, clean, reliable and affordable energy.

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“PET industry needs to focus on circularity and stop defending plastics”

“PET industry needs to focus on circularity and stop defending plastics”

PETCore President Stephen Short

By Matt Tudball

BRUSSLES (ICIS)–The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market needs to focus on the positivity of circularity rather than trying to defend plastics, PETCore President Stephen Short said.

Opening the 2020 PETCore annual conference in Brussels, Short, addressing the 300-strong audience, said it is time to stop defending PET because “we have lost that battle”.

Instead, he said, the industry needs to play to its strengths, and to focus on the positive message of proving the recyclability of PET.

“We are in a zero tolerance world for plastic,” Short said. “We can’t speak about recycling, we have to prove it.”

This was a theme echoed throughout the opening day of the conference, with Christian Crépet, Executive Director Petcore Europe adding that the PET industry has an advantage over other polymers because it can be 100% recycled.

Another common theme running through the first day of the conference is for the industry to work harder and smarter to educate and inform consumers and policy makers on the benefits of PET when compared to other materials such as glass, paper and aluminium.

Paccor’s Nicolas Lorenz said the industry has the opportunity to inform the consumer around topics like CO2 emissions from plastics and other packaging materials, giving a balanced view on the advantages and drawbacks of each.

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Gerecycled polyester in álle kleding van Adidas

A good example of a manufacturer using recycled PET within the circular industry. A win-win situation for everyone. The article is in Dutch!

Beeld: Adidas

Adidas zal dit jaar nog minstens de helft van het polyester in zijn kledinglijnen uit tweedehands bronnen halen. Ook komen er shirts en broeken op de markt waarin 100 procent van het polyester gerecycled is. In 2024 is ál het polyester gerecycled.

| DOOR: MARC SEIJLHOUWER | https://www.duurzaambedrijfsleven.nl/

De plannen van het kledingmerk komen niet uit de lucht vallen. De afgelopen jaren nam het aandeel gerecyclede polyester toe; hardloopbroeken bestaan bijvoorbeeld al voor 55 procent uit gerecycled polyester. En in 2012 bracht Adidas kleding voor Olympische atleten met 100 procent gerecycled polyester.

Nu gaat het bedrijf recycling grootschalig  toepassen. Daarmee is veel milieuwinst te boeken: polyester is een van de vervuilendste kledingmaterialen. Per ton vezel komt er zeven kilo CO2 vrij. Ter vergelijking: bij katoen is dat gemiddeld drie kilo.

Recycling kost minder energie

Voor Adidas is het gebruik van gerecycled polyester ook financieel interessant; de productie kost minder energie en bespaart daarom geld. De kwaliteit is net zo goed als die van ‘nieuw’ polyester. Adidas maakt het gerecyclede polyester van plastic petflessen. Dat maakproces kost 20 tot 60 procent minder energie dan plastic uit olie. De grote variatie in besparing komt doordat de kwaliteit van petflessen-afval kan wisselen.

Het is de vraag om Adidas’ duurzame ambities waargemaakt kunnen worden met plasticafval. Er moet namelijk wel genoeg (schoon) plastic beschikbaar zijn om de productie vol te houden. Adidas is niet de enige partij die petflessen wil gebruiken als alternatief voor kunstmatig textiel.

Terug naar de natuur

In 2030 moet de voetafdruk van Adidas met 30 procent gedaald zijn in vergelijking met 2017. Daarvoor recycled het niet alleen polyester; het bedrijf maakt ook schoenen van oceaanplastic en het heeft plannen om kleding circulair te maken. “Elk Adidas-product heeft straks meerdere levens en kan tenslotte terugkeren naar de natuur”, aldus de website.

BRON: ADIDAS | BEELD: ADIDAS

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Market Development PET materials

“Targeting 100% plastic recycling by 2025”

A very interesting article in ICIS about the Circular Plastic Industry in France, subscribing our adopted Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. At Dutch PET Recycling we support these economic policies!

Collected PET bottles to be recycled

French National Assembly adopts new circular economy measures

By Linda Naylor

23-Jan-20 13:37

LONDON (ICIS)–French policymakers this week are understood to have backed a raft of new measures to reduce plastic waste, including a ban on single-use materials by 2040.

French deputies adopted the “projet de loi” concerning the struggle against waste and also the circular economy by 227 votes to 10, with 15 abstentions, on Tuesday evening, after it began its journey more than two years ago.

The vote will now be definitively adopted by the Senate on 30 January.

The assembly’s acceptance was of little surprise to delegates at a summit organised for polymers buyers in the country organised by the Federation de la Plasturgie et des Composites.

On Wednesday they were beginning to digest what this would mean for the industry, but also for the consumer.

“This comes as no surprise,” said one converter at the Plasturgie meeting. “We will just do what we have to do.”

Others implied this would be a difficult task to realise.

According to press reports, the law encompasses ideas bandied about for some while now:

  • Single use plastic to be banned by 2040
  • Repair index to be introduced on electric and electronic goods
  • Abolition of the practice of destroying non-food unsold goods
  • Systematic phasing out of automatic paper receipts at the till – immediately for a value below 10 euros, progressively for higher values
  • Introduction of deposit schemes for the recycling of plastic bottles, targeting 100% plastic recycling by 2025
  • No single use plastic in fast food outlets by 2023
  • Introduction of medicines to be sold singly by 2022, to avoid the current wastage of medicines
  • Extension of the polluter-payer principle for toys, cigarettes, sports and leisure articles, DIY and gardening articles“[We are] leaving a throwaway society for one that reuses,” secretary of state Brune Poirson on a French TV interview. (Translated from the original).

“To walk away from a throwaway society, we need a more systematic approach… in this anti-waste law, we are creating conditions to develop le vrac (non-packaged products), to repair objects, to fight against planned obsolescence,” she added.

There have been voices for and against this law, with some involved in the industry complaining about the cost of some of the proposed schemes- such as deposit schemes- and others saying it doesn’t go far enough, quickly enough.

The World Wildlife Fund expressed disappointment over the new project.

“Unfortunately these measures remain insufficient in the face of the magnitude of the plastics crisis,” it said on its website. “Together we can continue to mobilise to eliminate plastics from nature by 2030.” China is also set to ban or restrict production, sales and use of disposable plastic products via three stages in the next five years, according to an instruction jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, also this week.

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Virgin or Flakes?

“To know the price fluctuations in virgin material, flakes and (food grade) pellets you constantly have to use sources like ICIS. Besides the prices we noticed that also sustainable development targets become more important. This resulted over the last years in an increase of using flakes.”

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Reference Logistics

“Transport of containers on sea and all of the necessary paperwork is quite challenging. We got help of the logistics department of Dutch PET Recycling, their Agent and Freight Forwarder. We learned very rapidly how to do it. For instance a template for a packing list and advise on REX-registration. Al together it saved us time and costs.”

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Customer Reference

Production location

“Actually we were negotiating on prices and conditions. But meanwhile Dutch PET Recycling gave us a truly significant advise in changing the NIR and Colour sorting units in our production line. It improved our quality immediately. They really know what they are talking about.”