Integrating ESG into decision making and business strategies contributes to an effective due diligence and a better investment decision for the company as well as relevant stakeholders. The companies which fall under the recycled plastic industry have been transitioning and addressing their sustainability progress and agenda.
The demand for affordable consumer electronic products such as laptops, smart phones and various other devices has increased majorly through the e-commerce market. Rising usage of consumer electronics has increased the demand for recycled plastics in electrical & electronics and packaging applications and this has boosted the market growth. These companies have a huge impact on the environment as the main intention and objective for the company is to reduce plastic, implement usage of recycled plastic rather than single use plastic. Integrating a circular business model has been one of the primary agenda for this segment. Companies have flourished in the innovative space in treating hazardous waste like medical waste and sharp waste. As waste treatment is a primary operation for these companies, workers get exposed to hazardous and nonhazardous waste. Stakeholders have been raising concerns for health and safety aspects for workers due to these exposures.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) is a comprehensive framework that helps companies in this market obtain a perspective on the impact of their products and operations on ESG parameters.
The main ESG trends for this segment fall under both environmental and social aspects; starting with the circular (SDG 13- Climate Action) business model, most of the companies are in coherence with reducing plastic waste and increasing the consumption of recycled plastic. One of the companies has made an investment of 1.25 billion Euro for a target year of 2030; targets include quadrupling plastic recycling, investing in low carbon energy waste and leading in surplus redistribution. Another company has an initiative which supports a circular economic model, known as Shred-It Information Destruction Service. In 2021, Shred-it had collected around 1.1 billion pounds of shredded sorted office paper. Shred-it’s recycled content avoided the necessity to harvest 9 million trees. Moreover, the material used to manufacture Shred-it document collection consoles features 100% recovered and recycled fibers. The document destruction transport bins used in transporting secure information for destruction during collection are molded from 100% recycled HDPE plastic. In terms of innovation (SDG 9- Industry, innovation and Infrastructure), one of the companies have introduced Safe-Shield Antimicrobial Biohazard Waste Containers made up of Cupron which is a copper based antimicrobial protectant and is DOT-complaint. The container is consisting of various positives like embedded with antimicrobial properties, DOT PGII rated containers, HDPE material and has a Smooth interior with built-in drainage ports for easy cleaning
One of the main challenges for the recycling industry is Health and Safety of workers, this segment faces its own set of unique hazards. Hazards which are ranging from common negligence during maintenance like avoiding lockout and tag out procedure to harmful chemical and biological exposure. Workers have also experienced respiratory diseases due to airborne contaminants, which are by product of waste and recyclable materials. The dust arising from certain processes often contains micro-particles of glass, plastics, toxic substances such as silica or asbestos or miscellaneous respiratory irritants. Exposure to chemical and biological substances like Household and industrial (chemicals solvents, motor oil, batteries and mercury in discarded thermometers), Sharp objects (metal or wood shards, broken glass or nails), Waste biological substances like used diapers, rotting food waste or animal feces have caused various diseases and health issues for workers. As a domino effect, sorting and segregating the waste has also been a critical challenge because of the presence of hazardous waste. One of studies showcases that technology has been another challenge for such segment in African countries like Zambia rather than any legal or environmental issues
To summarize, the recycled plastics market has a huge potential to mitigate damage caused to the environment. This theme has a huge space of innovation and infrastructure, moreover supports sustainability throughout its operation. Industries under this theme face challenges which can be sorted with better management strategies supporting a sustainable future. Global recycled plastic market has been valued at 47.6 billion USD, companies are expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% by 2030
• REMONDIS SE & Co. KG
• Republic Services, Inc.
• WM Intellectual Property Holdings, LLC
• Shell International BV
• Waste Connections
• Clean Harbors, Inc.
• Covestro AG.
• Macro-economic and ESG-variable analysis of the industry, including regulatory, policy, and innovation landscape
• Key insights on infrastructure developments and ESG issues affecting the theme
• Identify key initiatives and challenges within the industry
• Identify ESG leaders within the industry
• Understand key initiatives and the impact of companies within the sector to fuel an informed decision-making process
• Analysis of industry activities based on multi-media sources, including significant controversies and market sentiment
• Developing a comprehensive understanding of macro-economic, Policies & Regulations and innovations affecting the Recycled Plastic space, globally
• Key insights into environmental developments and ESG issues affecting the theme
• Identifying ESG risks and opportunities to business among leading players in the Recycled Plastic
• Obtaining a clear and relevant understanding of company actions, progress, and impact and find opportunities for investment into the sector
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