Savage, a supply chain partner to the plastics and chemicals industry, has joined Cyclyx, a company working to divert plastics from landfills and increase plastic recycling rates from 10% to 90%. Savage works to responsibly and safely move and manage over 3.5 million tons of plastic materials annually through its network of transload terminals and other sites across North America. The company also participates in Operation Clean Sweep and Responsible Care programs to help contain plastic resins and keep the environment and waterways safe and clean.
Today, only 10% of the world’s post-use plastic gets recycled, relying on fragmented and inefficient systems. Valuable plastics end up in landfills, incinerators, and the environment, partly due to the chemical complexity and variety of post-use plastics and the use of existing infrastructure not designed for the circular economy. Advancements in recycling allow these plastics to be reused as feedstock in the refinery process, chemically broken down into raw materials used to create new plastic pellets.
New circularity centers in development by Cyclyx will allow a more significant amount of waste plastic to be transformed into usable feedstock than is possible with the current recycling infrastructure.
Demand for post-consumer recycled plastic packaging was nearly 4.8 million metric tons in 2021 and will see significant growth through 2026, with the food and beverage industry leading the way, according to a report from Smithers.
The report says companies are revising their packaging processes to meet the increase in demand, as well as responding to legislative initiatives and improving technology to advance recycling efforts. Research shows that post-consumer recycled (PCR) packaging will grow at a CAGR of 5.9% through 2026 and reach a worldwide demand of 6.37 million metric tons.
Furthermore, a fifth of all food packaging could still find its way to landfill and incineration in two decades’ time. Today, food packaging is predominantly plastic and recycling rates are relatively low. While fiber-based packaging is widely recycled for non-food uses, the industry believes that by 2040 fiber-based packaging will approach circularity as technical development broadens.