Plastic Recycling New Investment Review

In June 2021, AcuComm reported on 6 new plastic recycling projects with a cumulative value of US$744 million. These projects, in Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK, are due to start operating from 2021 onwards when they will bring over 495,000 tonnes of annual recycling capacity online.

Over the 12-month period (July 2020 to June 2021),  AcuComm reported a total of 65 new plastic recycling projects with an aggregated annual capacity of over 3.1 million tonnes. The United States was the principal area of investment, accounting for 42% of the total.

Top Five Countries by Investment Value – US$mn (July 2020 to June 2021)

NIR July 2021 Plastics

Each month, AcuComm presents this headline data in its Plastic Recycling New Investment Review, one of a series of six complimentary reports which provide a strategic snapshot of the very latest activity in a specific area of the global waste and bioenergy markets.

The New Investment Review series includes:

  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Plastic Recycling
  • Waste-to-Fuel
  • Waste Processing
  • Landfill
  • AD/Biogas.

If the New Investment Review series is of interest, but feel that you need to delve deeper in order to develop your commercial strategy and marketing plans, you may wish to consider AcuComm’s Waste Market Insightsa monthly service that presents a wealth of comprehensive information including industry forecasts, historical data and insights which can be used to identify key trends across technologies, feedstocks and geographies, measured by outputs, values, capacities, volumes etc.

All the data in Waste Market Insights and the New Investment Review series derives from AcuComm’s WasteView Contract Finder, its  proprietary database of 8,500+ waste and bioenergy projects around the world.

If you would like to find out more, please contact either:

Rob / 44 (0)7399 863 765 / [email protected], or

Oliwia / 44 (0)7399 863 806 / [email protected]

Waste Management Investment Post-COVID: Uncorking the Bottle

As we move into the second half of 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause a number of serious difficulties and challenges for the waste management industry. In 2020, patterns of waste generation were suddenly and severely affected, as normal economic and social activity was curtailed around the globe on an unprecedented scale. Waste operators had this to deal with, as well as the challenge of providing acceptably normal services in an environment of reduced staffing and strictly enforced social distancing. Work on expansion and development of new plants became far more challenging, as contractors faced shortages of staff, equipment and building supplies, and necessary regulatory permissions were delayed as government departments ceased to function properly.

Amid the ongoing gloom, however, there is plenty of good news. People haven’t stopped generating waste, even if the mix and nature of that waste has been altered. In some ways, the pandemic has merely accelerated longer term changes. To give one example, home working has been an increasingly viable and attractive option for many people for some time now, but the pandemic made it an urgent necessity. While a lot of businesses are reopening, home working is likely to remain at far higher levels than pre-pandemic. For the waste industry, that means more ‘residential’ waste collection, and less from city centres and businesses.

Where effects have been negative, they are likely to be short-term. Recycling activities were hit in 2020, either because they became more difficult to do, and/or they became commercially unviable. This is surely a short term phenomenon; surely, regulatory and environmental pressures will quickly reassert themselves in the longer term. Larger projects, such as in the WTE sector, have been beset with delays, but the initial pressure for them to be completed remains.

At AcuComm, we see this in the real world. Interest in new waste investment across the world remains strong. The graph below shows the number of new projects and investments announced each month between January 2018 and June 2021. It’s hard to see any COVID effect at all here.

ANDY Uncorking the Bottle

Source: AcuComm database, July 2021

How can we best interpret this graph, in the light of what we know? There is clearly an ongoing need, and willingness, to invest in better and expanded waste facilities around the world. But of course, just because a project is announced, does not mean it is up and running, or that it will be operational according to the original schedule. So it looks like we currently have a logjam… the past 18 months has seen a growing backlog of investments which have yet to become operational. As the world recovers, confidence will return and the cork will come out of the bottle, allowing activity – rather than announcement of activity – will return. That will create its own logistical challenges of course (as any logger will tell you), but for the industry it will perhaps be a welcome problem to have after more than a year of uncertainty.

Of course, recovery won’t be at the same pace everywhere, and different sectors of the market will face differing challenges (see the October 2020 AcuComm paper, ‘Waste Investment Trends 2020+ Assessing global performance in the shadow of COVID-19’ for more detail on the varying reginal and sectoral effects). There’s an opportunity here for the waste industry to ‘build back better’, to coin a phrase, by making greater use of smaller, more efficient facilities with more modern technology. Smart companies and investors will already be planning ahead in order to thrive in a world where much has changed, but much really has not.

Providing a Light in the Shadow Created by Covid

The shadow of COVID is still casting its uncertainty over production lines and supplies.

You can at least get an idea of where there is a demand for all the parts it takes to construct a WASTE PLANT – today, next month, and up to three years ahead.

Knowing NEW WASTE PLANTS developments including those people who are involved, can give you chance to be the first with the RIGHT AND AVAILABLE service or equipment. Below is the latest chart from AcuComm that shows you the investment in new Waste Plants BEFORE they become “OPERATIONAL”

Why not discover for yourself, the value of AcuComm’s data:  access our INTERACTIVE charts, view project development details and make practical use of contact details for decision-makers.

Try AcuComm’s services for yourself: https://acucomm.net/tryit

Landfill New Investment Review

In May 2021, AcuComm added two new landfill projects with a cumulative value of US$17 million to its WasteView Contract Finder database. These projects, located in Australia and Russia, will provide 608,965 tonnes of new landfill capacity. Over the 12-month period (June 2020 to May 2021),  AcuComm covered a total of 42 new landfill projects, valued at over US$800 million.

Top 5 Countries by Investment in Landfill,
Reported June 2020-May 2021 (US$mn)

NIR Landfill June 2012

Each month, AcuComm presents this headline data in its Waste-to-Energy New Investment Review, one of a series of six complimentary reports which provide a strategic snapshot of the very latest activity in a specific area of the global waste and bioenergy markets.

The New Investment Review series includes:

  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Waste-to-Fuel
  • Plastic Recycling
  • Waste Processing
  • Landfill
  • AD/Biogas.

If the New Investment Review series is of interest, but feel that you need to delve deeper in order to develop your commercial strategy and marketing plans, you may wish to consider AcuComm’s Waste Market Insightsa monthly service that presents a wealth of comprehensive information including industry forecasts, historical data and insights which can be used to identify key trends across technologies, feedstocks and geographies, measured by outputs, values, capacities, volumes etc.

All the data in Waste Market Insights and the New Investment Review series derives from AcuComm’s WasteView Contract Finder, its  proprietary database of 8,500+ waste and bioenergy projects around the world.

If you would like to find out more, please contact either:

Rob / 44 (0)7399 863 765 / [email protected], or

Oliwia / 44 (0)7399 863 806 / [email protected]

Waste Processing New Investment Review

In May 2021, AcuComm added 12 new waste processing projects with a cumulative value of US$181 million to its WasteView Contract Finder database. Altogether these facilities, located in Australia, China, Czech Republic, Eduador, France, Greece, Morocco, the Netherlands, Panama, Tunisia and the United SKingdom, will process 1.7 tonnes of waste per annum.

Over the 12-month period (June 2020 to May 2021),  AcuComm covered a total of 119 new waste processing projects, valued at US$3.0 billion.

Top Five Countries by Investment Value – US$mn (June 2020 to May 2021)

NIR Waste Processing June 2021

Each month, AcuComm presents this headline data in its Waste Processing New Investment Review, one of a series of six complimentary reports which provide a strategic snapshot of the very latest activity in a specific area of the global waste and bioenergy markets.

The New Investment Review series includes:

  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Plastic Recycling
  • Waste-to-Fuel
  • Waste Processing
  • Landfill
  • AD/Biogas.

If the New Investment Review series is of interest, but feel that you need to delve deeper in order to develop your commercial strategy and marketing plans, you may wish to consider AcuComm’s Waste Market Insightsa monthly service that presents a wealth of comprehensive information including industry forecasts, historical data and insights which can be used to identify key trends across technologies, feedstocks and geographies, measured by outputs, values, capacities, volumes etc.

All the data in Waste Market Insights and the New Investment Review series derives from AcuComm’s WasteView Contract Finder, its  proprietary database of 8,500+ waste and bioenergy projects around the world.

If you would like to find out more, please contact either:

Rob / 44 (0)7399 863 765 / [email protected], or

Oliwia / 44 (0)7399 863 806 / [email protected]

Plastic Recycling New Investment Review

In May 2021, AcuComm reported on 4 new plastic recycling projects with a cumulative value of US$60 million. These projects, in Spain, Sweden and the USA, are due to start operating from 2022 onwards when they will bring over 135,150 tonnes of annual recycling capacity online.

Over the 12-month period (June 2020 to May 2021),  AcuComm reported a total of 62 new plastic recycling projects with an aggregated annual capacity of over 2.8 million tonnes. Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas were the principal areas of investment, with the USA, South Korea, Italy, Germany and Australia the leading countries in terms of investment value.

Top Five Countries by Investment Value – US$mn (June 2020 to May 2021)

NIR June 2021 Plastics

Each month, AcuComm presents this headline data in its Plastic Recycling New Investment Review, one of a series of six complimentary reports which provide a strategic snapshot of the very latest activity in a specific area of the global waste and bioenergy markets.

The New Investment Review series includes:

  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Plastic Recycling
  • Waste-to-Fuel
  • Waste Processing
  • Landfill
  • AD/Biogas.

If the New Investment Review series is of interest, but feel that you need to delve deeper in order to develop your commercial strategy and marketing plans, you may wish to consider AcuComm’s Waste Market Insightsa monthly service that presents a wealth of comprehensive information including industry forecasts, historical data and insights which can be used to identify key trends across technologies, feedstocks and geographies, measured by outputs, values, capacities, volumes etc.

All the data in Waste Market Insights and the New Investment Review series derives from AcuComm’s WasteView Contract Finder, its  proprietary database of 8,500+ waste and bioenergy projects around the world.

If you would like to find out more, please contact either:

Rob / 44 (0)7399 863 765 / [email protected], or

Oliwia / 44 (0)7399 863 806 / [email protected]

Plastic Recycling: New Investment Review

In April 2021, AcuComm reported on 14 new plastic recycling projects with a cumulative value of US$392 million. These projects, in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the USA, are due to start operating over the 2021-2025 period when they will bring over 905,000 tonnes of annual recycling capacity online.

Over the 12-month period (May 2020 to April 2021),  AcuComm reported a total of 61 new plastic recycling projects with an aggregated annual capacity of over 2.9 million tonnes. Europe, Asia and the Americas were the principal areas of investment, with the USA, South Korea, the UK and Italy the leading countries in terms of investment value.

% Value of New Projects by Region (May 2020 to April 2021)

NIR May 2021 Plastic Recycling

Each month, AcuComm presents this headline data in its Plastic Recycling New Investment Review, one of a series of five complimentary reports which provide a strategic snapshot of the very latest activity in a specific area of the global waste and bioenergy markets.

The New Investment Review series includes:

  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Plastic Recycling
  • Waste Processing
  • Landfill
  • AD/Biogas.

If the New Investment Review series is of interest, but feel that you need to delve deeper in order to develop your commercial strategy and marketing plans, you may wish to consider AcuComm’s Waste Market Insightsa monthly service that presents a wealth of comprehensive information including industry forecasts, historical data and insights which can be used to identify key trends across technologies, feedstocks and geographies, measured by outputs, values, capacities, volumes etc.

All the data in Waste Market Insights and the New Investment Review series derives from AcuComm’s WasteView Contract Finder, its  proprietary database of 8,500+ waste and bioenergy projects around the world.

If you would like to find out more, please contact either:

Rob / 44 (0)7399 863 765 / [email protected], or

Oliwia / 44 (0)7399 863 806 / [email protected]

New Investment Review: Waste Processing

In March 2021, AcuComm added seven new waste processing projects with a cumulative value of US$96 million to its WasteView Contract Finder database. These facilities, located in Brazil, , Ecuador, Germany, Spain and the United States, will process over 900,000 tonnes of waste per annum. Over the 12-month period (April 2020 to March 2021),  AcuComm covered a total of 116 new waste processing projects, valued at over US$3.1 billion.

Top 5 Countries by Investment in Waste Processing Facilities,
Reported April 2020-March 2021 (US$mn)

NIR Waste Processing March 21

In terms of waste type, coverage was predominantly MSW over the 12-month period, accounting for 75% of the total processing capacity – ahead of industrial waste on 6%.

Project Tonnage by Waste Type,
Reported April 2020-March 2021 (%)

NIR PIE Waste Processing March 21

Each month, AcuComm presents this headline data in its Waste-to-Energy New Investment Review, one of a series of five complimentary reports which provide a strategic snapshot of the very latest activity in a specific area of the global waste and bioenergy markets.

The New Investment Review series includes:

  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Plastic Recycling
  • Waste Processing
  • Landfill
  • AD/Biogas.

If the New Investment Review series is of interest, but feel that you need to delve deeper in order to develop your commercial strategy and marketing plans, you may wish to consider AcuComm’s Waste Market Insightsa monthly service that presents a wealth of comprehensive information including industry forecasts, historical data and insights which can be used to identify key trends across technologies, feedstocks and geographies, measured by outputs, values, capacities, volumes etc.

All the data in Waste Market Insights and the New Investment Review series derives from AcuComm’s WasteView Contract Finder, its  proprietary database of 8,500+ waste and bioenergy projects around the world.

If you would like to find out more, please contact either:

Rob / 44 (0)7399 863 765 / [email protected], or

Oliwia / 44 (0)7399 863 806 / [email protected]

New Investment Review: Landfill

In March 2021, AcuComm added five new landfill projects with a cumulative value of US$55 million to its WasteView Contract Finder database. These projects, located in Brazil, Spain, Ukraine and the United States, will provide 140,000 tonnes of new landfill capacity by 2024. Over the 12-month period (April 2020 to March 2021),  AcuComm covered a total of 48 new landfill projects, valued at over US$1 billion.

Top 5 Countries by Investment in Landfill,
Reported April 2020-March 2021 (US$mn)

NIR Landfill March 21

Each month, AcuComm presents this headline data in its Waste-to-Energy New Investment Review, one of a series of five complimentary reports which provide a strategic snapshot of the very latest activity in a specific area of the global waste and bioenergy markets.

The New Investment Review series includes:

  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Plastic Recycling
  • Waste Processing
  • Landfill
  • AD/Biogas.

If the New Investment Review series is of interest, but feel that you need to delve deeper in order to develop your commercial strategy and marketing plans, you may wish to consider AcuComm’s Waste Market Insightsa monthly service that presents a wealth of comprehensive information including industry forecasts, historical data and insights which can be used to identify key trends across technologies, feedstocks and geographies, measured by outputs, values, capacities, volumes etc.

All the data in Waste Market Insights and the New Investment Review series derives from AcuComm’s WasteView Contract Finder, its  proprietary database of 8,500+ waste and bioenergy projects around the world.

If you would like to find out more, please contact either:

Rob / 44 (0)7399 863 765 / [email protected], or

Oliwia / 44 (0)7399 863 806 / [email protected]

Plastic waste exports, problem and opportunity

In March 2021, the New York Times ran a story highlighting the continuing controversy surrounding the shipment of waste plastics, especially to developing countries which may not have the capacity to deal with such shipments in an environmentally-acceptable manner. This brief article looks at some longer term trends surrounding plastic waste exporting, both in the US and in the wider world. It ends with some good news; in 2020, new investment in plastic waste recycling facilities was over US$900 million, and interest continues to rise.

US exports of waste plastics peaked at US$72 million in June 2016, but the overall trend has been downward – if unevenly so – at least until mid-2020. The average monthly value in 2020 was US$19 million, compared with US$61 million in 2016. The US$18 million figure for January 2021 was therefore below the average for 2020, although it was indeed slightly higher than the US$17 million figure posted a year earlier in January 2020.

It’s tempting to see the small uptick in exports seen in the second half of 2020 as COVID-19 related, at least in part. Domestic recycling activities have been seriously affected by the pandemic and it is not unreasonable to assume that this has resulted in a greater amount being exported. But it’s too early to say with any certainty how great this effect has been, or indeed how permanent it is. The graph below shows the downward trend is far from linear, and the current level is after all below that of a year ago.

Andy - US Plastic 1

The above graph also shows the value of waste plastic exports to China and Hong Kong since 2016. Prior to 2018, these shipments accounted for the bulk of US waste plastic exports. The Chinese government banned the trade in 2018, but the value was falling sharply from mid-2017 in anticipation. For much of the past year the figure has been negligible.

So where has the US been sending its plastic waste since 2017, if not to China? For the full12 months of 2020, Canada was the leading destination, accounting for US$59 million or 26% of the total. Mexico was third with US$23 million, or 10%. Aside from these NAFTA partners, other destinations in Asia have taken China’s place. Principally Malaysia, but also Vietnam, India and Indonesia. Trade in waste plastics is not popular in any of these countries, and other destinations are being sought as regulations are tightened.

Andy - US Plastic 2

A global, not just a US, problem…

Exporting of waste plastics is far from a US-only issue, of course. Many other developed countries saw a surge in exports over the past decade. While this is being reduced by the Basle provisions, the trade remains widespread. In 2020, the US exported around US$225 million, but this was only the third-highest figure. Germany and Japan led the way with US$291 million and US$288 million respectively. The UK was fourth with US$119 million and France fifth with US$112 million. Malaysia and Turkey were among the leading destination countries, although it should also be noted that the leading importer overall was the USA.

Andy - US Plastic 3

Global trade in waste plastic has diminished since 2016 when it stood at US$6.6 billion. But at US$2.8 billion in 2020 it remains substantial. There’s perhaps nothing terribly wrong in principle with this trade, but the key question is disposal. Do destination countries  – or more specifically the companies doing the importing – have adequate facilities for dealing with plastic waste? Or, as has been seen in China and elsewhere, is waste incinerated or simply dumped, to find its way into the world’s rivers and oceans? This shouldn’t be seen as a state of affairs to be blamed on the developing world. Indeed, the fact that there is still money to be made from exports indicates that developed countries have so far failed to create the necessary sorting and recycling infrastructure closer to home.

….but also an investment opportunity

As environmental and regulatory pressure increases, the waste plastic recycling sector is increasingly gaining the attention of planners and investors. In the last 12 months (Mar 20 to Feb 21), AcuComm reported on 51 new plastic recycling projects, worth US$907 million in total, or US$18 million on average. Europe, Asia and the Americas were the principal areas of investment, with the USA, UK, Korea, Belgium and Germany the leading countries in terms of investment value.

Andy - US Plastic 4

Plastic recycling projects typically have a relatively short development schedule, and can be up and running quickly. Around 30% of projects are either operational or due to become so in 2021.

Andy - US Plastic 5