A new database called the Recycling Supply Tracker is designed to make sourcing recycled materials faster and easier.
Developed by business and market research and analysis company ICIS, the database provides information on production capacities, output volumes, feedstock source and site status.
As ICIS points out, numerous developments in recent years have caused both the need for transparency and demand for recycled materials to rise. Not only are consumers increasingly demanding more sustainable packaging solutions, more and more legislation, in Europe and the rest of the world, is coming into force, aimed at driving down plastic waste pollution and boosting the use of recycled resins.
Consumer goods companies and retailers have made their own commitments, with many pledging to increase recycled content in their packaging to an average of 25 percent by 2025.
Yet as regulatory measures on recyclability and the use of recycled content tighten, manufacturers and converters seeking to meet these requirements are finding it difficult to source the materials they need. It is becoming clear that not enough recycled material is available to hit these targets.
With demand currently outstripping supply, particularly for food-grade packaging plastics, sourcing recycled resins in what ICIS calls a "growing, opaque and increasingly competitive market" has proven to be difficult across the packaging sector.
Using the tracker, companies can source recycled plastic to quickly gain a comprehensive view of the sector and identify new supplier relationships, as well as take a strategic view on existing and announced projects. The data was researched by ICIS staff globally, using primary and secondary sources, which varied by market and region and is intended for users around the world.
The Recycling Supply Tracker follows four grades of recycled plastic — high density polyethylene, low density PE, PET and polypropylene — in pellet, flake and regrind forms. The tracker has details on more than 1,800 medium and large recycling facilities around the world, showing where the plants are located, what they produce, and how much they produce, as well as how to contact them.
It does not include any chemical recycling plants, although ICIS said an equivalent platform is being developed for chemical recycling and will be released later in the year. It also shows whether the plant is in operation, under construction, or announced.
Filters allow the search to be narrowed by region, particular country or a specific product. Further filters on specifics such as product color and its feedstock source are also available, enabling regulators, investors and companies to see where the capacity is lacking and how fast it is being built. Having on the ground data is a crucial step to stimulating this sector and bringing more waste plastic back into the economy.
Introduced as a platform that allows users to download data sets for their own purposes, the Recycle Supply Tracker is available as a subscription product through ICIS Digital and can be purchased as a standalone or in combination with other ICIS products and services.