Chemical Recycling, Global Status 2020

Chemical Recycling, Global Status 2020

To be published: May 2020

  • Chemical recycling is not new, but the investment required can be orders of magnitude higher than required for mechanical recycling.
  • Mainstream polymer producers have announced the construction of chemical recycling plants during 2018/19, some with the aim to be operational in late 2020.
  • Some of these developments are based on collaborations and/or joint ventures where the investment brings together technology and supply chain synergies.
  • Three different forms of chemical recycling are usually defined. Each process has it’s own benefits and drawbacks:
    1) Solvolysis
    2) Depolymerisation
    3) Thermal cracking (also described as ‘feedstock recycling’). 

This report provides a market map on the progress of chemical recycling investment and development.


Process technology employed

  • Solvolysis
  • Depolymerisation
  • Thermal cracking


The polymers processed. Single stream materials or mixed polymer?

  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Polyamide (PA)
  • Polyurethane (PU)


Material supply – consistency and quality?


Competition with mechanical recycling targets and increased recyclate percentages?

The geographic scope is the Global market

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