The most critical issue facing the plastics industry
Massive and burgeoning quantities of plastic waste, especially in the ocean, have become a public pollution crisis. Global action by plastics value chain participants is needed to reduce waste and intensify recycling. Ad hoc actions by governments and corporations to ban plastics could prove costly if policy makers do not consider whether there are viable and economic alternatives.
Today, over 60 countries have introduced bans and levies on the use of plastics. Both the public and private sectors are increasing the pace of efforts to curb consumption and improve management of single-use plastics. The actions taken are often driven by uninformed understanding of the consequences and available alternatives, or an underestimation of the ability of infrastructure to deliver.
A Call to Industrial Action
Sustainability is a challenge from a demand, supply, regulatory and technology standpoint. It involves every participant of the value chain – from energy to consumer and from both private and public sector. A shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to sustainability is occurring with governments aggressively moving to address the issue in pursuit of a “circular economy”, in which the plastics producer becomes a key stakeholder in managing the environmental impact of plastics by eliminating single-use plastics and reducing end-waste. The pace of change and the prospect of greater regulations, including bans, and consumer deselection of certain plastic end-use products, are creating significant investment risk and market uncertainly.
Foundation for Solutions
To help our customers understand and adapt their strategic plans to this rapidly developing multifaceted movement, S&P Global has developed a multiclient study entitled "Plastics Sustainability: A Sea Change - Plastics Pathway to Sustainability." We are also compiling our latest thought leadership and resources on this topic and invite you to bookmark this page to check back regularly for updates.