Clearwater Beach, Fla. — Innovation and sustainability continue to be key drivers for the plastics market, according to a top resin distribution executive.
"Our industry needs to continue to change to be relevant," Paul Tayler said March 2 at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Clearwater Beach. Tayler is CEO of Nexeo Plastics and of its parent firm, GPD Cos. Inc.
Plastics "have been differentiated by innovation and change" since the development of the first polymer types, he added.
Sustainability also remains important, Tayler said, with Nexeo, based in The Woodlands, Texas, seeing increased interest from customers in bio-based and recycled content resins and compounds. From 2010-19, 31 percent of global sustainable patents were issued in the U.S.
According to Tayler, businesses that account for 65 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) have committed to be carbon neutral by 2050. He added that two-thirds of U.S. consumers aged 18-34 have said they're willing to pay more for sustainable products.
"It's a question of where to start if your goal is to be carbon neutral," said Tayler, who's been Nexeo's CEO since 2020. "We've expanded our portfolio of products available that have non-petrochemical recycled content. Helping our customers understand how to use these materials will improve our position going forward."
He added that Nexeo's digital strategy "is guided by our overall business goals and vision" and allows in-person and digital channels. The firm launched its MyNexeo e-commerce program in North America in June and expanded it to Europe in January.
MyNexeo allows customers to shop more than 15,000 materials in Nexeo's catalog and find their most commonly used products. They also can access past order history, instant pricing visibility, real-time order status and estimated delivery dates.
Digital strategy "should be linked to the core strategy of a company," Tayler said. Looking ahead, he added that resin distribution "will continue to be a key interface between suppliers and customers."
Nexeo distributes resins and compounds in North America, Europe and Asia for more than 30 suppliers. The firm has annual sales estimated at around $2 billion.