What are some of the unique challenges facing specialty chemicals?
In the business-to-business industrial sector, material flows are relatively transparent, and it is easier to ensure that material properties remain consistent – in contrast to household recycling, where consumers dispose of a broad array of unsorted packaging materials containing various residues. What is more, the long-standing, trust-based supply relationships manufacturers have with one another tend to promote active collaboration between businesses. One problem does occur, however, when information about the availability and quality of materials destined for reuse and reprocessing is lacking. In the plastics industry, it should also be noted that recycling can, among other things, lead to the unwanted generation or concentration of harmful substances. Needless to say, the processes used must also be both environmentally and economically viable. Chemical recycling, which transforms plastics that cannot be recycled using traditional methods into new materials, is an interesting option, but still some distance away.