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About 80% of the respondents said that their enterprises are planning to or have already set corporate objectives and commitments related to circular economy. (Source: Adsale CPRJ Survey on Circular Economy Market Demand)
About 80% of the respondents said that their enterprises are planning to or have already set corporate objectives and commitments related to circular economy. (Source: Adsale CPRJ Survey on Circular Economy Market Demand)
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CPRJ has been following the trend of recycling and circular economy, and recently conducted the “Adsale CPRJ Survey on Circular Economy Market Demand”. The result shows that more than 81.90% of the respondents have plans to introduce circular economy concepts or technologies into their enterprises and work.

The Adsale CPRJ Survey was conducted about one month ago and received feedback from 652 respondents in China. While most of the respondents have plans to introduce circular economy, even a more encouraging sign is 8.59% of the respondents indicated that their enterprises have done so already.

At the same time, about 80% of the respondents said that their enterprises are planning to or have already set corporate objectives and commitments related to circular economy.

Regarding the research, purchase or adoption of circular plastics technologies, the three technologies that received most attention are recycled plastics (14.44%), granulating (12.57%) and cleaning (11.61%). Other “hot” technologies are pelletizing, auxiliary equipment and sorting.

Investment boom with huge market potential

Whether enterprises in the industry are generally willing to increase corresponding investments reflects the market potential of the circular economy. In the Adsale CPRJ Survey, more than 70% of the respondents indicated that their enterprises will increase investments related to recycling in 2020.

Among them, 30.06% said their enterprises intend to increase investments RMB 1-5 million, while 29.91% said the investments will be increased RMB 5-10 million. Meanwhile, 12.12% indicated the extra investments will be more than RMB 10 million. 

As for the use of the extra investments, about half of the respondents said that the money will be used for recycled or degradable materials (47.23%), followed by purchase of recycling equipment (36.81%) and research & development of new recycling technologies (15.53%). 

However, more than 60% of the respondents remarked that the current market prices of recycled materials and recycling equipment are still high.

Performance and processing technologies improvements are keys
 
Although the prices of recycled materials and recycling equipment are still high, prices are not the most important consideration for enterprises to adopt circular economy concepts or technologies. 

The Adsale CPRJ Survey result shows that the maturity of the relevant technologies is actually the most influential factor (27.48%), followed by price (21.25%) and customer demands (20.13%).

The survey also shows that many respondents believed that the greatest challenge in developing circular economy is improving the performance and processing technologies of recycled plastics (31.75%). The high prices of recycled plastics and biomaterials (26.98%) as well as effective industry standards and regulations (25.47%) are also key factors that affect development.

It is also worth noting that many respondents commented that the participation and facilitation of the country is also important to the implementation in the industry level.

“Adsale CPRJ Survey on Circular Economy Market Demand” was exclusively sponsored by Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co., Ltd. Kingfa is a leading Chinese producer of modified plastics, biodegradable plastics, special engineering plastics, and other plastic products.

The respondents participated in the survey mainly came from the packaging, E&E and automotive industries, as well as upstream and downstream companies across the supply chain.

Experts: The survey result is in line with industry trends 

Commenting on the result of “Adsale CPRJ Survey on Circular Economy Market Demand”, both Nana Zhao (Assistant Director, UNEP Basel Convention Regional Center for Asia and the Pacific) and Yushun Fan (Executive Vice-President & Secretary-General, Plastics Recycling Committee of China Plastics Processing Industry Association) said the result is in line with current industry trends.

Nana Zhao, Assistant Director, UNEP Basel Convention Regional Center for Asia and the Pacific.
“Circular economy is a must for the long-term development for the plastics industry,” Nana Zhao emphasized. She explained that success of circular economy requires the cooperation of various stakeholders in the whole industry chain. Though the topic of circular economy is hot nowadays, the manner and direction of development is yet to be determined.

At the same time, Nana Zhao believes that most enterprises are pragmatic now as they will directly choose mature technologies and products based on policy requirements, business development needs and customer demands. There are still few enterprises adopting a proactive approach and developing their own new technologies.

She also added that there are already some upstream companies going downstream. Some big petrochemical enterprises are expanding in the recycling sector, such as implementing some merger & acquisition measures to realize supply chain integration. She suggested that enterprises have strong economic and technological foundation can conduct more research & development on new technologies and processes.

According to Yushun Fan, there are several areas that should attract more attention in the industry, such as the source of raw materials. Furthermore, he commented that “relevant government support is a little bit lagging”. For instance, there is still no clear guidance about whether recycled plastics can be used for food contact products.”

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