S&P Global Platts to offer prices for PET bottle recycling

S&P Global Platts, an independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets, launched three new daily spot price assessments for U.S. postconsumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle bales April 1.

According to S&P Global Platts, the postconsumer plastic bottle price assessments will “bring crucial market insight and price transparency” based on the company’s experience building independent and robust assessment methodologies. The company says it hopes this new transparency will help increase market participants’ understanding of how recycled plastics are evolving into tradable commodities.

S&P Global Platts’ daily assessments reflect price information for the Greater Los Angeles and Chicago areas on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, as gathered and published through Platts’ price assessment process, closing at 4 p.m. CST.

© BKhamitsevich / istockphoto.com

FOB Los Angeles prices reflect premium-grade material, primarily sourced from redemption centers, with a minimum PET content of 70 percent, and curbside material with a minimum PET content of 60 percent. Bales from the Los Angeles area should consist of at least 80 percent clear bottles.

The Chicago assessment reflects curbside-collected mixed-colored bales, consisting of clear, transparent green or transparent light-blue bottles, sold on an FOB basis with a minimum PET content of 60 percent.

The assessment reflects material that is picked up on the same day up to seven days forward from the date of the transaction. Prices are published in U.S. cents per pound. Transaction volumes for both locations reflect a typical range of 35,000 to 40,000 pounds (approximately one 53-foot trailer load).

“Our new recycled plastic assessments offer market participants crucial price transparency that helps develop open and fair markets at a time when the supply of quality recycled plastics raw material is their top challenge,” says Ben Brooks, head of plastics recycling price reporting at S&P Global Platts.

Visit www.spglobal.com/platts/en/our-methodology/methodology-specifications/petrochemicals for details.

Indorama plans recycling expansion

In its “2019 Annual Report,” Aloke Lohia, the group CEO of Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL), Thailand, says the social and political pressure on single-use plastics “creates a tremendous opportunity for IVL to enlarge our recycling investments and create a positive impact on global circular economy initiatives.” He has pledged to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that the company will use 750,000 metric tons of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) content by 2025.

“It is important for our stakeholders to understand that this will not negatively affect our existing PET resin business,” which he says has grown by 1 million metric tons per year “and will continue growing together with the recycled material.”

Dilip Kumar Agarwal, CEO of IVL’s feedstock and PET business, says, “As a part of building a circular value chain for PET, we have taken the strategic step to invest in and create global recycling assets as a new vertical for growth as well as to support our brand owners to reach their PET recycled-content goals.

“Recent acquisitions like Sorepla in France [and] Customer Polymer and Green Fiber in the United States show our commitment to adding recycling assets to the portfolio,” he continues. “We have also invested in chemical recycling through a joint venture with Loop Industries in the U.S. and a partnership with Ioniqa in the Netherlands.”

He adds that IVL’s investments in recycled assets show its commitment to sustainability in addition to being highly accretive in the future, noting that IVL has a target of 15 percent return on capital employed for its recycling assets.

Sanjay Ahuja, IVL’s chief financial officer, says the company expects to spend $30 million to $40 million on each acquisition or capex.

The company’s Chief Strategy Officer Deepak Parikh adds that IVL will invest $1 billion over the next four years in recycling.

“As the largest global PET resin producer, IVL is taking a leading position in addressing improved sustainability in the PET sector,” says Helen McGeough, senior analyst, Plastic Recycling, for London-based ICIS. “The company has a clear vision to improve the supply of recycled feedstocks, exploring opportunities in both mechanical and chemical capabilities. Acquisitions will be key to the expansion of rPET supply, and recent activities are evidence to that strategy.

“This drive is critical, especially in a low crude oil environment with downward pressure on prices through the chain, that impact recycled plastic markets the harshest,” she adds.

ACC, More Recycling say new website connects plastic scrap market

The Washington-based American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Sonoma, California-based More Recycling have announced a new website, www.circularityinaction.com, designed “to accelerate end market development” for plastic scrap.

“The Recycling Market Development Platform will help connect stakeholders, accelerate the continued growth of plastics recycling and provide guidance on how to better support plastics’ circularity,” the organizations say in a news release. “This free, open-source digital platform was developed by More with ACC as a founding partner.”

“We’re pleased to introduce this tool to the marketplace,” says Keith Christman, managing director of plastics markets at ACC. “It’s an important platform to help equip stakeholders throughout the value chain with resources to accelerate the expansion of end markets for recycled plastics.”