Despite widespread public opinion that plastic is harmful to the environment; it is proving difficult for the global economy to stop producing new custom plastic products. Unlike other eco-friendly practices, eliminating plastic does not have a direct positive impact on the profits of many consumer businesses. S&P Global Ratings estimates that plastic packaging is unlikely to be replaced for many of its current uses in the near future due to the advantages of plastic over some alternative packaging options such as paper or glass. Changes in plastic production are more likely, including a possible increase in the amount of plastic being recycled over time.
Many large companies including US food giants such as Coca-Cola, Walmart, Starbucks, and McDonald’s, as well as major European firms such as Danone, Nestle, and Pernod Ricard have pledged to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their products in response to the preference consumers and new laws. These companies hope that environmentally conscious consumers will feel more comfortable buying their products if their offerings have a lower environmental footprint. Some companies plan to switch to recyclable materials if they cannot completely eliminate plastic, while others have introduced new plastic policies, e.g. B. Eliminate plastic bags altogether when they make other changes to their products or supply chain.
Hotel groups have also tried to reduce their dependence on single-use plastics. MGM China, a Macau-based hotel and casino operator, has announced plans to replace all single-use plastic in its restaurants by the end of 2019. Marriott International and InterContinental Hotels, the world’s two largest chains, announced in September 2019 that they would phase out small plastic bottles. shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and other toiletries are currently provided for all guests. Hoteliers have announced that dispensers will replace individual bottles in hotel bathrooms with the same product, eliminating the need to make a new plastic bottle for each customer.
Regarding pollution and public concerns about the impact of plastics on the environment, several jurisdictions have announced or issued more stringent regulations. Seattle and Auckland, among other American cities, banned plastic straws and single-use utensils in 2018. Straws have been a particular target of these regulations, as people can often consume beverages such as coffee without using a straw. On a sovereign level, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced plans to ban certain types of single-use plastic by 2021. From plastics and petrochemicals things are getting darker and S&P Global Platts has announced that the country’s Department of the Environment is considering further action.
In addition, the US shale boom holds the key to the plastic recycling economy and warns of one of the dangers of expanding plastic recycling. Shale drilling has created a global oversupply of the raw material ethane, which drastically lowered the price of virgin plastic in 2019. Prior to market saturation, plastic fabrication chips made from recycled plastic were actually cheaper than virgin plastic chips. This creates an economic incentive for European companies to achieve the EU’s goal of drastically reducing consumption of pure plastics. Due to the additional costs associated with recycling plastics, recycled chips must be significantly cheaper than unprocessed plastic chips in order to be economically competitive.
The company has invested in expanding its plastic recycling capacity, a possible sign they expect greater demand. Dow announced in March 2019 that it plans to expand its business and ship 100,000 tonnes of recycled plastic by 2025. For example, colorful bottles and heavy coffee trays. Accompanying this increase in plastic recycling capacity is increased demand for all plastic products – plastics are expected to drive the bulk of future growth across the oil industry.