January 2020

Special Focus: Sustainability

Circular economy: Getting in the door of opportunity ahead of a vanishing polymer market

Significant change is coming to the hydrocarbons industry. Up to 43% of the global conventional polymer production expected by 2040 may disappear due to circular economy (CE) initiatives. In addition, due to the growth in wind turbines and solar panels, and in lightweight composite materials in cars and planes, advanced materials waste is just beginning.

Bjacek, P., Accenture

Significant change is coming to the hydrocarbons industry. Up to 43% of the global conventional polymer production expected by 2040 may disappear due to circular economy (CE) initiatives. In addition, due to the growth in wind turbines and solar panels, and in lightweight composite materials in cars and planes, advanced materials waste is just beginning. For example, the EU must soon manage up to 300,000 tpy of used wind turbine blades.1 As a result, oil and gas companies stand to lose up to half of demand growth—however, they may also have the most to gain. Two drivers of this significant change center on rising waste consciousness and the transition to cleaner energy sources. Rising waste

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