Plastic Material And Resin Manufacturers Are Going Green To Combat Environmental Concerns
Non-recyclable plastic bags have become a leading source of pollution worldwide, leading to concerns about plastic in waste and in marine litter. Plastic litters many of the world`s beaches, clogs city sewers and fuels a large flow of plastic waste, killing wildlife including sea animals. In response, many countries have instituted stringent rules to control the use of plastic bags. China, for example, has issued complete bans on plastic bags. These concerns were a restraint on the plastic materials and resins industry between 2014 to 2018, during which time the plastic materials and resins market declined at an annual growth rate of around -0.4%. In 2018, the global market was valued at $490.5 billion.
Stringent regulations on plastic materials were also a major restraint on the plastic materials and resins market. Many of the products in the plastic materials and resins industry are potentially hazardous during the manufacturing stages because the manufacturing processes involve reactions that can be dangerous unless controlled carefully. In addition, some of the manufactured plastic products can have an adverse impact on both living organisms and the environment. Government agencies and regulators are strictly assessing and managing the risks involved in the production and use of plastics. Plastic material and resin manufacturers are instructed to be compliant with complex regulations that govern labeling, handling, manufacturing and shipping and storage of the product, leading to an increase in compliance costs for the manufacturers.
Plastic material and resin manufacturers are using recycled plastic products as raw materials to reduce raw material costs, lower carbon footprint, and reduce dependence on other raw materials such as oil and gas. Recycled plastic has properties nearly identical to those of virgin plastic (plastic material which is produced without using any recycled plastic products) and contains only a few percent of impurities. Additionally, the recycled plastic has a carbon footprint 85% smaller than new plastic. Recycled plastic costs 20-25% less than the plastic made from virgin raw materials such as oil and gas.
The world population is also increasingly becoming aware about the adverse impact of plastic materials on the environment. This has led to a rapid increase in demand for eco-friendly plastics: bioplastics that are manufactured from polymer resins derived from plants and plastics that can be decomposed with the help of bacteria. For instance, global bio plastics production capacity was estimated to be around 6.2 million tons in 2017, and the global market for bio plastics and biopolymers is expected to be around $5.0 billion in 2021, indicating high demand for eco-friendly plastic products.