February monthly leasing and finance index new business down
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the US$900 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for February was US$7.1 billion, down 4 percent year-over-year from new business volume in February 2021. Volume was down 14 percent month-to-month from US$8.3 billion in January. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was down nearly 1 percent compared to 2021.

Receivables over 30 days were 1.7 percent, down from 1.8 percent the previous month and down from 2.1 percent in the same period in 2021. Charge-offs were 0.09 percent, down from 0.17 percent the previous month and down from 0.55 percent in the year-earlier period. Credit approvals totaled 78.2 percent, down from 78.4 percent in January. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 12.2 percent year-over-year, a decrease due to significant downsizing at an MLFI reporting company. Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in March is 58.2, a decrease from 61.8 in February.

ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “New business volume at MLFI 25 companies has grown modestly in 2022, as it typically does in the early months. What is eye-catching, however, is the extremely high credit quality reported by respondents. Geopolitical unrest, increasing interest rates, inflation and continuing supply disruptions all pose headwinds that bear monitoring. But equipment finance companies always find ways to stay relevant, resilient and reliable in helping American businesses acquire the assets they need to thrive.”

Antimicrobial plastics market global forecast to 2026
A report from the firm Research and Markets predicts that the antimicrobial plastics market is projected to reach US$66.7 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 10.8 percent from US$40 billion in 2021. Increasing demand from applications such as medical and healthcare, packaging and consumer goods; and consumer awareness pertaining to the importance of antimicrobial plastics are the major factors attributed to the market’s growth. However, volatility in raw material prices and government regulations on the usage of plastics in certain applications are hampering market growth. Additionally, the growth of the textile industry is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for the market players.

Silver is the most used inorganic antimicrobial additive. It is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, sustainable and has excellent safety. Silver ion is the active ingredient in silver antimicrobials. It is permanent and has high thermal stability. Silver can be incorporated into a wide variety of polymer and textile industries without changing the product aesthetics. There is a higher demand for inorganic antimicrobial additives mainly due to their non-volatile nature, high thermal stability and widespread applications. Inorganic antimicrobial additives are widely used in the healthcare, packaging and construction industries.

The medical and healthcare segment is estimated to be the largest application of the antimicrobial plastics market during the forecast period owing to the heightened demand for antimicrobial plastics driven by growing consumer awareness about personal hygiene and health-related issues. Due to COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020, the awareness among manufacturers and consumers for the usage of antimicrobial plastics has increased. This has resulted in more demand for these plastics in different applications industries, specifically the medical and healthcare industry.

European mechanical plastics recycling exceeded 8 million tons in 2021
European plastic recycling rate 2021
The waste plastics value chain is a complex and dynamic sector, with an evolving operating environment. New legislation and targets for the recycling of plastics and the use of recyclate are changing the way the whole plastics industry must operate. The mechanical plastics recycling industry, therefore, has become the focal point for investments, acquisition and expansion.

Although the volume of commodity plastic entering the waste stream on a yearly basis is extremely large, estimated by AMI Consulting as 35.6 million tons in 2021, feedstock availability should not be taken for granted. Much of this waste is currently uncollected for recycling or lost at the sorting stage. Feedstock is therefore a finite resource, characterized by bail price fluctuations and variable quality and supply.

Plastics recyclate production was 8.2 million tons in 2021 and is forecast to grow at a rate of 5.6 percent per year to 2030. To put this figure into context, one must review it in tandem with the 35.6 million tons of commodity plastic entered the waste stream in 2021. This implies that Europe achieved an overall plastic recycling rate of 23.1 percent.

The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on both the volume of waste being collected for recycling as well as simultaneously reducing the demand for recyclate, as factories close or reduce production. However, to date it has not seemed to have had a long-lasting effect, as the industry has in general bounced back.

AMI sees within the 2030 timeframe of its report, additional absorption of recyclate volumes into applications that to date absorb negligible levels, particularly in Western Europe. Uses for recyclate are becoming more diverse, and the ability to absorb recyclate into higher value applications is also increasing, creating added value for the industry. AMI expects the commercialised and scaled production of food grade rPP and rPS within the timescale of the report, creating new closed loop systems, as we already see for rPET.

AMI’s report quantifies the market for mechanical recycling, analyzing the supply and demand balance, along with an evaluation of current production by country. The report also looks at feedstock supply and the waste plastics value chain. A detailed review of the end use applications for recyclate is given, with an examination of potential future absorption.

The report, Mechanical Plastics Recycling – European Market 2022 is relevant to all those involved in the plastics industry value chain, from resin producer through to brand owners/end users of plastic products. The report delivers a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the current industry situation and forecasts where this critical aspect of the plastics industry will go in the future.