Save us “Chemical Recycling” Man! Oh wait…you can’t!

Meet “Chemical Recycling” Man. Not your run-of-the-mill comic book superhero. This one is propped up by the petrochemical industries.

These industries like to claim that chemical recycling will create “virgin-like” quality plastic. But beware – this isn’t true! Because of low oil yields and contamination, pyrolysis oil must be diluted by a mixture made up of crude oil, derived from fossil fuel (in some cases by a ratio of over 40:1!). Chemical recycling treatment cannot process the diversity of post-consumer plastic waste.

In this handy infographic, developed from Zero Waste Europe’s Leaky Loop ‘Recycling’ report, we visualise the weakness of “chemical recycling” as a method of recycling by personifying “Chemical Recycling” as an arrogant superhero who thinks they can save us all, only to meet their ‘kryptonite’ through the demands of the public for virgin-like quality.