PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy 08-01-2026

PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

-PP, PE prices take a fall in December

North American prices for polyethylene and polypropylene resins continued to drop as 2021 came to a close.

Average selling prices for PE slid 5 cents per pound in December, while PP prices tumbled 15 cents, according to buyers and sellers contacted by Plastics News. It’s the third consecutive 5-cent drop seen in the PE market. The October drop was the first seen in 17 months, as prices had jumped starting in early 2020 when pandemic-related demand couldn’t be met because of weather-related production outages.

“Demand is still strong [for PE], but some of it is a backlog from buyers who were holding off while waiting for lower prices,” one resin distribution executive told Plastics News. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

Mike Burns, a PE market analyst with Resin Technology Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas, said that “warehouses are full [of PE], and exports can’t get out because of a lack of containers or other supply chain problems.”

Market sources don’t expect PE or PP supplies to be affected by a Dec. 23 fire at ExxonMobil Chemical’s major refinery and petrochemicals site in Baytown, Texas. ExxonMobil makes PP and the feedstocks ethylene and propylene in Baytown, as well as PE at nearby Mont Belvieu. Four workers were injured in the fire, which according to media reports involved naphtha, an ethylene feedstock.

Although PE prices dropped 15 cents in late 2021, the market finished the year up a net of 28 cents, according to the Plastics News resin pricing chart.

More PE capacity for the region will be available this year when Shell Polymers opens a major unit near Pittsburgh. That location will have annual production capacity of more than 3 billion pounds and is expected to come online during the first quarter. Shell officials have said they expect most of that material to be sold within North America. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

PP, PE prices take a fall in December

-Europe R-PET January bale prices face upwards pressure

Senior Editor for Recycling Matt Tudball discusses the latest developments in the European recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) market, including:

Post-consumer bottle price offers well above December levels

Bottle bale availability a major challenge for the market

Potential impacts on flake and pellet prices

PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

https://www.icis.com/explore/cn/resources/news/2022/01/06/10722421/video-europe-r-pet-january-bale-prices-face-upwards-pressure

-Biodegradable boom or bust? Bioplastic innovation confronts cost and policy challenges

As anti-plastic legislation sweeps into effect in countries around the globe, industry is looking for new ways to package F&B products without sacrificing quality, shelf life and hygiene. Biodegradable materials are an increasingly popular option, highlighted by mass investments and R&D exploration into bioplastics that break down naturally after use without harming human or environmental health.

PackagingInsights explores the latest trends, research and business developments in biodegradable packaging innovation in conversation with some of industry’s top experts. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

Together with Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO & co-founder of compostable packaging giant Tipa, Gaute Juliussen, CEO of graphene bioplastic specialist Toraphene, and the European Bioplastics (EUBP) association, we examine the definition of biodegradability, its uses and misuses, policy changes, cost competition and the latest in scientific discovery.

What does biodegradable mean?

While many packaging products purport to be biodegradable, there is confusion over what the term means. Robbie Staniforth, head of innovation and policy for British recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety, has called for clarity, emphasizing that misunderstanding and industry manipulation can often lead to environmental damage.

While companies use the term to boost their environmental sustainability credentials, all too often, the reality of a material’s ability to biodegrade naturally is overstated and can result in pollution.

The UK government defines biodegradable plastics as those that can break down into water, biomass, and gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. Biodegradability depends on environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, microorganisms present, and oxygen.

According to a consultation last year, these materials have a “limited but valid role” in applications where conventional plastic is typically too contaminated to be reused or recycled. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

However, repeated concerns were raised regarding the extent to which plastics marketed as “biodegradable” actually biodegrade in the open environment. Other respondents raised concerns that biodegradable plastics could encourage littering if people consider them in some way environmentally friendly.

Bioplastic benefits

A spokesperson for EUBP explains that despite these issues, biodegradable and compostable plastics (for which there are more stringently defined characteristics) are an important answer to the world’s need to shift away from traditional, fossil fuel-based plastics.

Biodegradable boom or bust? Bioplastic innovation confronts cost and policy challenges

-How to Build a Microplastics-Free Environment: Strategies for Microplastics Degradation and Plastics Recycling

Microplastics are an emergent yet critical issue for the environment because of high degradation resistance and bioaccumulation.

Unfortunately, the current technologies to remove, recycle, or degrade microplastics are insufficient for complete elimination. In addition, the fragmentation and degradation of mismanaged plastic wastes in environment have recently been identified as a significant source of microplastics.

Thus, the developments of effective microplastics removal methods, as well as, plastics recycling strategies are crucial to build a microplastics-free environment. Herein, this review comprehensively summarizes the current technologies for eliminating microplastics from the environment and highlights two key aspects to achieve this goal: 1) Catalytic degradation of microplastics into environmentally friendly organics (carbon dioxide and water); 2) catalytic recycling and upcycling plastic wastes into monomers, fuels, and valorized chemicals. The mechanisms, catalysts, feasibility, and challenges of these methods are also discussed.

Novel catalytic methods such as, photocatalysis, advanced oxidation process, and biotechnology are promising and eco-friendly candidates to transform microplastics and plastic wastes into environmentally benign and valuable products.

In the future, more effort is encouraged to develop eco-friendly methods for the catalytic conversion of plastics into valuable products with high efficiency, high product selectivity, and low cost under mild conditions.

1 Introduction

Microplastics (MPs), defined as plastic debris with diameters smaller than 5 mm,[1, 2] are regarded as an emerging environmental contaminant and have received enormous amounts of attention due to their potential adverse impacts on living things. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

Depending on their sources, MPs are classified as primary and secondary MPs. As shown in Figure 1, primary MPs are plastic particles designed and produced intentionally for a given application, such as, micro-sized plastic microspheres, fragments, and microfibers pervasively applied in personal care products or synthetic textiles. In contrast, secondary MPs are unintentionally formed from the gradual fragmentation of mismanaged plastic wastes by photolysis, abrasion, and/or microbial decomposition. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

Whether intentionally or unintentionally produced, MPs with varied shapes, including beads, foams, fibers, and films,[3-5] have been detected in air,[6] aquatic systems,[7-10] river and ocean sediments,[11] and soil.[3, 12] The fast release of MPs with their combined high resistance against degradation results in a rapid accumulation of these particles in the natural environment.[13, 14] It is predicted that the total mass of plastic debris cumulated in ocean could increase to ≈250 million metric tons (Mt) by 2025, which is an order of magnitude higher than in 2010.[15] The light and small nature of MPs lead to their easy transportation with wind and water flow in environment. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

As a consequence, MPs  have been found worldwide both close to human habitation and in remote areas far away from human activities. After long-term exposure to MPs, the chronic toxicity including impaired reproduction and malnutrition can be caused, posing a threat to biota and humans. Further, due to the relatively large specific surface area of MPs, heavy metals,[16] and persistent organic pollutants (POPs)[17, 18] are prone to adhere and accumulate on the surface of MPs and then migrate in environment.PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

It has been reported that the concentrations of POPs adsorbed onto the MPs can be 10[6] higher than that in the ambient environment.[19] Thus, further transfer and accumulation of these hazardous POPs carried MPs in the food chain lead to serious potential threats to human health. The level of concern around MPs is so great, governments globally are legislating against the production of primary MPs.[20]

PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

 

-Polluters Latest Greenwashing Scam? Pretending Plastics Are Part of the “Circular Economy”

Busting greenwashing myths pushed by corporate polluters

During my recent stint on parental leave, I tried to disconnect from my Zero Waste work. No public hearings on high-heat waste burners. No work on bottle bills, single-use plastic bans, or composting. No campaigning to shut down incinerators or landfills. Just quality time with my partner, our newborn, and our toddler. But I quickly realized that there’s no off-switch for the corporate greenwashing that makes this work difficult – it’s ever-present in our lives.

While I was out, I picked up a magazine and came face-to-face with an American Beverage Association ad campaign claiming to have the answer to plastic pollution. I visited YouTube and got recommendations for industry puff pieces on so-called “chemical recycling.” I opened a package of baby supplies and saw dubious claims of recyclability and sustainability. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

Other than raising my blood pressure, what did each of these have in common? They all misappropriated the term “circular economy” – a term that is supposed to represent a shift from our toxic, throwaway society toward reusable and refillable solutions. The companies that profit off single-use plastics, waste, and climate damage are somehow claiming to be a part of the solution by promising to “close the loop.”

So, now that I’m back at work, I’d like to set the record straight. What does circular economy really mean? And why will single-use plastics and waste-burning technologies never have a place in it? Here are the answers.

What Is the Circular Economy?

“Circular economy,” much like “Zero Waste,” has become a buzzword. There are many, many interpretations of the term. But unlike Zero Waste, there’s no official definition. Still, the best interpretations revolve around a few key tenets. A circular economy:

  • reuses products and materials, rather than extracting new materials (like the fossil fuels required to make plastic) for single-use, disposable products and packaging;
  • generates zero waste;
  • has little environmental impact (meaning the circular systems do not spew toxic pollutants). PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

-Producers Tempted to Raise Prices to Start New Year

Resin suppliers learned a valuable lesson in 2021: The market can tolerate substantially higher resin prices before demand destruction sets in.

The spot resin market ended the year on a quiet note, writes the PlasticsExchange in its first Market Update of 2022.

Spot prime polyethylene (PE) pricing was flat while polypropylene (PP) dropped by as much as $0.04/lb, continuing an overall decline from record highs established earlier in the year. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

The type of high volume and steeply discounted prices for mostly off-grade PE and PP railcars made available both to the Houston export market and for domestic delivery had not been seen during the December holiday period for several years. Still, many buyers opted to stay on the sidelines and watch the sustained price erosion rather than secure material. While PE producers reported heavy export sales during December, they also faced difficulty moving desired volumes to help clear excess supplies, as a lack of containers, personnel, and ship space continued to hamper export efforts.

Resin producers may attempt another bull run

Unless PE producers have slowed production rates, as PP producers did, it is likely that spot material will be available again in early January, according to the PlasticsExchange. However, resin producers learned a very valuable lesson during 2021 — the market can tolerate substantially higher resin prices before seeing demand destruction. All markets cycle, and the sharp resin price decrease seen in Q4 is a fairly natural back-end result to the massive rally of the first two quarters of 2021. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

Unless there is significant disruption to the global economic recovery, resin producers eventually will manage to tip the supply/demand balance back in their favor and begin another bull run, knowing that processors could accept higher resin prices. Indeed, PE producers have mostly nominated a $0.04/lb January price increase, but the timing may be premature, notes the PlasticsExchange.

PE trading volumes were limited in the final week of 2021: Some processors secured material for early January needs, but many market participants had already concluded their business for the year.

Spot levels were mostly flat across PE commodity grades after coming off sharply in previous weeks. Supplies improved substantially during December, including less liquid grades like low-density (LD) and linear-low-density (LLD) PE injection, which had been scarce. PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

High-density (HD) PE for Blow Mold and Injection as well as LDPE Film grades became quite loose, while LLDPE for Film became uncharacteristically tight across all butene, hexene and octene grades.

Producers Tempted to Raise Prices to Start New Year

PP PE prices Europe R-PET Bioplastic Microplastics Degradation Circular Economy

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