The plastics industry is changing – because it has to

That’s the general consensus among some of Europe’s leading plastic industry commentators – the very people working to re-shape the industry. While plastic, in its myriad forms is ingrained in every aspect of our life, ‘plastiphobia’ has entered the vernacular as a condition, and the regulators are cracking down hard on an industry that already faces a number of complex challenges. That move to smaller, local chemical recycling plants – which are more efficient and effective at separating out the different types of plastic to help better achieve the dream of a circular economy – is certainly on the horizon, yet still only a nascent industry. Richard Daley, Managing Director of ReNew ELP, is at the cutting edge of chemical recycling. ReNew ELP are in the final stages of development on the first of four chemical recycling processing lines, with each line processing 20,000 tonnes a year.

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MiNiMAR PAINT&CHEMICALS

Minimar management team is solely composed of ex-Akzo Nobel staff. After our professional careers in Akzo Nobel, we came together in Minimar to utilize our experience, efforts and entrepreneurial approach in our rapidly developing company and country.

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Chemical Technology

Global polyethylene demand boom likely, increasing the sustainability challenge

Article | July 14, 2022

IT FEELS LIKE several lifetimes ago. If you recall, way back in November-December 2019 Asian variable cost integrated naphtha-based polyethylene (PE) margins turned negative because of the increase in US capacity. Then in January the following year, deep Asian and Middle East operating rate cuts returned some order to the market. Then, bang, as we all know, the pandemic arrived and turned everything on its head. The pandemic has, in my view, accentuated trends that were already well underway. I believe this means that the supply-driven downturn that started in late 2019 will not return.Long before coronavirus upended everyone’s lives, PE demand was becoming increasingly divorced from GDP growth because of the shifting nature of end-use demand. Booming internet sales was, I believe, a major factor behind the split between the growth of the overall economies in the developed world plus China and PE demand.The average product bought online is dropped 17 times because of the large number of people involved in the logistics chain, according to Forbes. This had led to a surge in demand for protective packaging made not from PE and other polymers such as polypropylene, expandable polystyrene and PET films (I will look at their demand growth prospects in later posts).Despite sustainability pressures, the scale of demand for stuff bought online translated to a lot more consumption of virgin polymers.

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Chemical Management

The Digital Transformation of the Chemical Industry: The Key Trends

Article | July 14, 2022

From novel process technologies to sustainable plastics— the chemical industry is scaling up its digital initiatives. This has opened new doors for organizations to explore opportunities to increase efficiency and streamline the process. Admittedly, the chemical industry has been a little slower in implementing digital transformation. But COVID-19 has vastly increased the momentum of digitization among chemical plants. According to a KPMG survey, 96% of industry CEOs saw digital transformation accelerate in their organizations, with 48 percent saying it advanced by a few years. In addition, according to a recent Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC) survey, 82% of respondents agreed that the pandemic had "created a new sense of urgency" in driving investment in new technologies and digitalization. Digital transformation solutions offer tremendous potential in the chemical sector. It can play a significant role in driving more value. So let's dig deeper and look at key technologies in bringing digital transformation to the chemical industry. Circular Economy Chemical manufacturers cannot exist within their own four walls any longer. They recognize the importance of working with their customers and other businesses and organizations to conserve resources and protect the environment. Chemical companies may source raw materials from recyclers as part of a circular economy, which necessitates fool proof solutions to confirm their quality and availability. Circular economy consortiums may advocate for reducing environmental threats such as ocean plastics or exposure to hazardous chemicals, opening up new avenues for innovation. Customers are constantly looking for new ways to reduce waste and protect their ecosystems. For example, farmers may benefit from solutions that can instantly analyze soil quality, weather, and crops to determine the best products and schedule for applying fertilizers, crop protectants, or new seeds. Using this data, they use only what they need, generate less waste, and maximize output. Error-Proof Operations Chemical firms are also embracing technology to achieve operational excellence. They've discovered the benefits of using machine learning andIoT technologies to automate standard back-end processes. Technologies such as these reduce the need for human intervention — and thus the possibility of human error. Blockchain technology can also significantly reduce counterfeit chemicals' use, which is especially important for chemical manufacturers who supply products to the pharmaceutical or agricultural industries. In addition, blockchain technology can enable track-and-trace processes that require less work and waste while protecting the enterprise's reputation. Staying Sharp in the Dynamic Market Staying agile in an uncertain M&A environment is a top priority for some businesses. For example, chemical firms must be able to quickly divest assets, adjust portfolios, and adapt operations in response to market changes. Technology can provide executives with the visibility into operations, shipments, and market conditions required to make critical decisions and remain agile. Data Analytics The chemical industry is leveraging cloud-based storage systems to store and share confidential data anytime and anywhere. Additionally, data analytics solutions can analyze all the data effectively to provide valuable insights to the industry. This will help you make meaningful decisions in real-time.

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Chemical Technology

Boom in petrochemicals demand guaranteed but we must grow sustainably

Article | July 20, 2022

ONE OF THE GREATEST achievements of the last 30 years has been the fall in the number of people living in extreme poverty.In 1999, 1.9bn of the world’s population were living on less than $1.90, the Word Bank’s definition of extreme poverty. Despite setbacks caused by the pandemic, this had fallen to 698m by October 2020. Income levels alone are not enough to escape the life-threatening agony of extreme poverty. There is no point in having money if the essential goods and services to spend your money on are not available. Critical to poverty alleviation has been sufficient supply of all the things that people in the rich world take for granted. The raw materials to make the vast majority of manufactured goods include petrochemicals and polymers. Nearly all the major manufacturing chains would not have been able to function without petrochemicals. Think of medical equipment, syringes, blood bags, hospital gowns, face masks, pill bottles and medicine blister packs. None of the above could have been produced without petrochemicals. As people emerged out of extreme poverty and as economies became wealthier, modern-day medical services became more widely available.

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Chemical Technology

The State of Intelligent Operations in Oil and Gas

Article | June 11, 2021

Intelligent Operations can play a vital role in creating connected content environments, however, many companies – especially within oil and gas – having been slow on the uptake. Businesses that implement digital transformation initiatives often gain a competitive advantage over their rivals, as they benefit from reductions in human error, increases in productivity and further support for compliance efforts.

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Spotlight

MiNiMAR PAINT&CHEMICALS

Minimar management team is solely composed of ex-Akzo Nobel staff. After our professional careers in Akzo Nobel, we came together in Minimar to utilize our experience, efforts and entrepreneurial approach in our rapidly developing company and country.

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Chemical Technology, Raw Materials

NOVA Chemicals and Plastic Energy Launch Feasibility Study on Advanced Recycling Plant to Further Canadian Circularity Aspirations

Webwire | July 05, 2023

NOVA Chemicals Corporation (“NOVA Chemicals”) and Plastic Energy have entered into an agreement to explore the feasibility of developing a pyrolysis-driven advanced recycling facility in the Sarnia, Ontario region. If constructed, the facility would be the largest of its kind in Canada with a potential initial capacity of 66kt per annum. “Post-use plastics offer tremendous value to furthering the circular economy, and our teams at NOVA Chemicals work daily to innovate new and collaborative ways to extend the lifecycle of our products and plastic packaging,” said Greg DeKunder, VP, NOVA Circular Solutions. “This agreement with Plastic Energy is a prime example of two companies working together to create timely, effective, and sustainable solutions that will help us make progress towards our 2030 recycled plastics ambitions while diverting hard-to-recycle segments of plastic waste away from landfills.” Plastic Energy is one of the world’s leading advanced recycling technology companies through use of its patented TAC™ process to treat post-consumer plastic waste. Recycled polyethylene manufactured using Plastic Energy-produced feedstock, called TACOIL™, has identical properties to virgin polyethylene and can be used in food contact and high-performance applications, helping manufacturers and packagers achieve their recycled content goals. Plastic Energy has two commercial recycling plants in Spain that have been in operation for seven years, alongside new projects in Europe and Asia. “We are pleased to sign this agreement with NOVA Chemicals to explore the scope for our first advanced recycling project in Canada,” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. “Advanced recycling will continue to be important for the North American market by providing a solution for incorporating recycled content into food-grade packaging. Together with NOVA Chemicals, we aim to reduce the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfills, incineration, or as leakage into the environment, which is important for the circular economy in Canada.” NOVA Chemicals recently announced its aspiration to reach 30 per cent recycled content as a share of its total polyethylene sales by 2030 in its Roadmap to Sustainability Leadership, including its commitment to build a state of the art mechanical recycling business and continue exploring world-leading and proven advanced recycling technologies. If built, this new facility would see NOVA Chemicals build on its already CAD 2 billion investment into Ontario to inject additional new technology, jobs, and long-term viability into the local and Canadian economies. About NOVA Chemicals Corporation NOVA Chemicals aspires to be the leading sustainable polyethylene producer in North America. Our driving purpose is to reshape plastics for a better, more sustainable world by delivering innovative solutions that help make everyday life healthier and safer and acting as a catalyst for a low carbon, zero-plastic-waste future. NOVA Chemicals’ innovative and quality product offerings, value chain collaboration, and unique customer experience is what sets us apart; our customers use our products to create easy-to-recycle and recycled content films, packaging, and products. Our employees work to ensure health, safety, security, and environmental stewardship through our commitment to Sustainability and Responsible Care®. NOVA Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has nearly 2,500 employees worldwide and is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. About Plastic Energy Plastic Energy is a global leader in advanced recycling, offering a sustainable solution to help prevent plastic waste, transforming previously unrecyclable plastic waste into a valuable resource. Our patented and proven advanced recycling technology converts end-of-life plastic waste into an optimal feedstock (TACOIL™) for making virgin-quality recycled plastics. Plastic Energy currently has two chemical recycling plants that are in constant operation in Spain and is one of the few companies worldwide that has sold TACOIL™ from the conversion of end-of-life plastic waste to replace fossil oils in the manufacturing of new plastics. We are leading our field in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy for plastics. Learn more on our website at www.plasticenergy.com.

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Risk and Compliance, Products and Technologies

Quantix Joins Alliance to End Plastic Waste

PRnewswire | May 26, 2023

Quantix, North America's leading supply chain services company to the chemical industry, announced today it has joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (the Alliance), a global non-profit organization that brings together government, companies and communities to end plastic waste in the environment. Quantix is the 31st member in North America to join the Alliance, which has over 70 members including founding member companies such as BASF, Chevron Phillips Chemical, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Procter & Gamble and Shell. "We understand that no viable solution to ending plastic waste can come from any individual company alone, but rather a combination of all of us working together," said Chris Ball, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quantix. "Solving the challenges of reducing plastic waste and redefining how it can be used and repurposed is complex, and we are committed to working with the Alliance and its members to take action toward these goals and more." As a member company, Quantix will participate in projects with other Alliance members to brainstorm and push initiatives forward to create opportunities within the circular economy. Those initiatives will focus on plastic collection, sorting, processing and recycling. Quantix is uniquely positioned to support these efforts with its vast infrastructure of supply chain assets located where plastics are both made and produced. "The Alliance has been a catalyst for more than 50 projects across 30 countries," said Natalie Stirling-Sanders, Chief Advisor, Head of Americas, Alliance to End Plastic Waste. "The solutions that are being supported are often ground-breaking and enabled by strong collaboration amongst all players across the plastic value chain. We are delighted to welcome Quantix to the Alliance, and are pleased we now have a logistics company in North America helping to end plastic waste in the environment." Quantix is committed to being a sustainability leader in the supply chain and logistics industry including helping build the new circular supply chain. The company has several active sustainability initiatives including multi-year environmental goals such as converting 25% of its last mile and drayage fleet to alternative fuel by 2030. To learn more about the company's commitment to sustainability, visit https://quantixscs.com/about/sustainability/. About Quantix Quantix is the leading supply chain services company to the chemical industry. It provides the world's largest chemical providers with end-to-end support through a nationwide network and comprehensive suite of services including transportation, 3PL solutions, distribution centers, export/import and Eco-Recovery. Headquartered in The Woodlands, TX with over 80 locations across the U.S., Quantix is committed to providing the highest level of safety, quality, compliance and integrity across its entire operation. Learn more at www.quantixscs.com.

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Products and Technologies, Raw Materials

DayGlo Announces Introduction of Elara Luxe Cosmetic Colorants

DayGlo | March 16, 2023

DayGlo Color Corp., one of the world's leaders in manufacturing daylight fluorescent pigments, has recently announced the introduction of Elara Luxe, its latest innovation in fluorescent color technology for the personal care and cosmetics industries. The Elara Luxe product range, which includes seven new plant-based fluorescent pigments, was created with the notion that clean beauty should never have to sacrifice brilliance. It empowers formulators and transforms the conventional way of thinking about color in the sector. For the very first time, clean beauty products can have the robust and rich palette that clients demand. Elara Luxe pigments provide new opportunities for creating vibrant colors with unprecedented color breadth and intensity. Customers are driving demand for environmentally friendly products that are free of toxic substances. The new product range has no microplastics, which benefits both consumers and the environment. Elara Luxe exemplifies clean beauty standards and establishes a new class of cosmetic colorants derived from all-natural rice protein, a potent union of nature and technology. All pigments are plant-based, naturally biodegradable, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and halal-approved. Elara Luxe colorants are compatible with oil-based, solvent-based, and water-based formulations. This makes them suitable for a wide variety of applications when utilized in compliance with the usage and restrictions specified in 21 CFR Part 82 Subparts B and 21 CFR Part 74 Subpart C, C, and D. These include cosmetics, temporary hair color, lotions and soaps, lip gloss and lipsticks, face paint, and nail polish or nail lacquer. Will Wooten, VP of Global Sales and Marketing at DayGlo, said, "The Elara Luxe range is a key element of DayGlo's growth strategy." He added, "As America's leading fluorescent pigment manufacturer, we are ecstatic about our latest innovation. Here is a product with the power to revolutionize the palette available to formulators." (Source – Business Wire) About DayGlo DayGlo, founded in 1946, is the world's leading manufacturer of daylight fluorescent pigments, and it creates technology to improve and enhance colors. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the company manufactures pigments, inks, toners, coatings, and fluorescent dispersions for a range of applications, including food and beverage, plastics, safety equipment, and consumer goods. Moreover, DayGlo markets the Radiant, Swada, and Sterling fluorescent colorant brands in Europe and other regions.

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Chemical Technology, Raw Materials

NOVA Chemicals and Plastic Energy Launch Feasibility Study on Advanced Recycling Plant to Further Canadian Circularity Aspirations

Webwire | July 05, 2023

NOVA Chemicals Corporation (“NOVA Chemicals”) and Plastic Energy have entered into an agreement to explore the feasibility of developing a pyrolysis-driven advanced recycling facility in the Sarnia, Ontario region. If constructed, the facility would be the largest of its kind in Canada with a potential initial capacity of 66kt per annum. “Post-use plastics offer tremendous value to furthering the circular economy, and our teams at NOVA Chemicals work daily to innovate new and collaborative ways to extend the lifecycle of our products and plastic packaging,” said Greg DeKunder, VP, NOVA Circular Solutions. “This agreement with Plastic Energy is a prime example of two companies working together to create timely, effective, and sustainable solutions that will help us make progress towards our 2030 recycled plastics ambitions while diverting hard-to-recycle segments of plastic waste away from landfills.” Plastic Energy is one of the world’s leading advanced recycling technology companies through use of its patented TAC™ process to treat post-consumer plastic waste. Recycled polyethylene manufactured using Plastic Energy-produced feedstock, called TACOIL™, has identical properties to virgin polyethylene and can be used in food contact and high-performance applications, helping manufacturers and packagers achieve their recycled content goals. Plastic Energy has two commercial recycling plants in Spain that have been in operation for seven years, alongside new projects in Europe and Asia. “We are pleased to sign this agreement with NOVA Chemicals to explore the scope for our first advanced recycling project in Canada,” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. “Advanced recycling will continue to be important for the North American market by providing a solution for incorporating recycled content into food-grade packaging. Together with NOVA Chemicals, we aim to reduce the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfills, incineration, or as leakage into the environment, which is important for the circular economy in Canada.” NOVA Chemicals recently announced its aspiration to reach 30 per cent recycled content as a share of its total polyethylene sales by 2030 in its Roadmap to Sustainability Leadership, including its commitment to build a state of the art mechanical recycling business and continue exploring world-leading and proven advanced recycling technologies. If built, this new facility would see NOVA Chemicals build on its already CAD 2 billion investment into Ontario to inject additional new technology, jobs, and long-term viability into the local and Canadian economies. About NOVA Chemicals Corporation NOVA Chemicals aspires to be the leading sustainable polyethylene producer in North America. Our driving purpose is to reshape plastics for a better, more sustainable world by delivering innovative solutions that help make everyday life healthier and safer and acting as a catalyst for a low carbon, zero-plastic-waste future. NOVA Chemicals’ innovative and quality product offerings, value chain collaboration, and unique customer experience is what sets us apart; our customers use our products to create easy-to-recycle and recycled content films, packaging, and products. Our employees work to ensure health, safety, security, and environmental stewardship through our commitment to Sustainability and Responsible Care®. NOVA Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has nearly 2,500 employees worldwide and is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. About Plastic Energy Plastic Energy is a global leader in advanced recycling, offering a sustainable solution to help prevent plastic waste, transforming previously unrecyclable plastic waste into a valuable resource. Our patented and proven advanced recycling technology converts end-of-life plastic waste into an optimal feedstock (TACOIL™) for making virgin-quality recycled plastics. Plastic Energy currently has two chemical recycling plants that are in constant operation in Spain and is one of the few companies worldwide that has sold TACOIL™ from the conversion of end-of-life plastic waste to replace fossil oils in the manufacturing of new plastics. We are leading our field in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy for plastics. Learn more on our website at www.plasticenergy.com.

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Risk and Compliance, Products and Technologies

Quantix Joins Alliance to End Plastic Waste

PRnewswire | May 26, 2023

Quantix, North America's leading supply chain services company to the chemical industry, announced today it has joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (the Alliance), a global non-profit organization that brings together government, companies and communities to end plastic waste in the environment. Quantix is the 31st member in North America to join the Alliance, which has over 70 members including founding member companies such as BASF, Chevron Phillips Chemical, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Procter & Gamble and Shell. "We understand that no viable solution to ending plastic waste can come from any individual company alone, but rather a combination of all of us working together," said Chris Ball, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quantix. "Solving the challenges of reducing plastic waste and redefining how it can be used and repurposed is complex, and we are committed to working with the Alliance and its members to take action toward these goals and more." As a member company, Quantix will participate in projects with other Alliance members to brainstorm and push initiatives forward to create opportunities within the circular economy. Those initiatives will focus on plastic collection, sorting, processing and recycling. Quantix is uniquely positioned to support these efforts with its vast infrastructure of supply chain assets located where plastics are both made and produced. "The Alliance has been a catalyst for more than 50 projects across 30 countries," said Natalie Stirling-Sanders, Chief Advisor, Head of Americas, Alliance to End Plastic Waste. "The solutions that are being supported are often ground-breaking and enabled by strong collaboration amongst all players across the plastic value chain. We are delighted to welcome Quantix to the Alliance, and are pleased we now have a logistics company in North America helping to end plastic waste in the environment." Quantix is committed to being a sustainability leader in the supply chain and logistics industry including helping build the new circular supply chain. The company has several active sustainability initiatives including multi-year environmental goals such as converting 25% of its last mile and drayage fleet to alternative fuel by 2030. To learn more about the company's commitment to sustainability, visit https://quantixscs.com/about/sustainability/. About Quantix Quantix is the leading supply chain services company to the chemical industry. It provides the world's largest chemical providers with end-to-end support through a nationwide network and comprehensive suite of services including transportation, 3PL solutions, distribution centers, export/import and Eco-Recovery. Headquartered in The Woodlands, TX with over 80 locations across the U.S., Quantix is committed to providing the highest level of safety, quality, compliance and integrity across its entire operation. Learn more at www.quantixscs.com.

Read More

Products and Technologies, Raw Materials

DayGlo Announces Introduction of Elara Luxe Cosmetic Colorants

DayGlo | March 16, 2023

DayGlo Color Corp., one of the world's leaders in manufacturing daylight fluorescent pigments, has recently announced the introduction of Elara Luxe, its latest innovation in fluorescent color technology for the personal care and cosmetics industries. The Elara Luxe product range, which includes seven new plant-based fluorescent pigments, was created with the notion that clean beauty should never have to sacrifice brilliance. It empowers formulators and transforms the conventional way of thinking about color in the sector. For the very first time, clean beauty products can have the robust and rich palette that clients demand. Elara Luxe pigments provide new opportunities for creating vibrant colors with unprecedented color breadth and intensity. Customers are driving demand for environmentally friendly products that are free of toxic substances. The new product range has no microplastics, which benefits both consumers and the environment. Elara Luxe exemplifies clean beauty standards and establishes a new class of cosmetic colorants derived from all-natural rice protein, a potent union of nature and technology. All pigments are plant-based, naturally biodegradable, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and halal-approved. Elara Luxe colorants are compatible with oil-based, solvent-based, and water-based formulations. This makes them suitable for a wide variety of applications when utilized in compliance with the usage and restrictions specified in 21 CFR Part 82 Subparts B and 21 CFR Part 74 Subpart C, C, and D. These include cosmetics, temporary hair color, lotions and soaps, lip gloss and lipsticks, face paint, and nail polish or nail lacquer. Will Wooten, VP of Global Sales and Marketing at DayGlo, said, "The Elara Luxe range is a key element of DayGlo's growth strategy." He added, "As America's leading fluorescent pigment manufacturer, we are ecstatic about our latest innovation. Here is a product with the power to revolutionize the palette available to formulators." (Source – Business Wire) About DayGlo DayGlo, founded in 1946, is the world's leading manufacturer of daylight fluorescent pigments, and it creates technology to improve and enhance colors. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the company manufactures pigments, inks, toners, coatings, and fluorescent dispersions for a range of applications, including food and beverage, plastics, safety equipment, and consumer goods. Moreover, DayGlo markets the Radiant, Swada, and Sterling fluorescent colorant brands in Europe and other regions.

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