Chemical Recycling Collaborative

Exploring the landscape of chemical recycling technologies and the role that they may play in packaging sustainability.

SPC Team Lead
Karen Hagerman
Senior Manager
SPC Collaboratives

Rachel Goldstein, Mars, Inc.
Ashley Hood-Morley, Eastman

The Chemical Recycling Collaborative will be a year-long initiative focused on exploring the landscape of chemical recycling technologies and the role that they may play in packaging sustainability. The purpose of the Collaborative is to bring members together throughout the value chain to discuss and explore the challenges and opportunities of chemical recycling. This Collaborative is targeted at all members of the packaging value chain. 

Are you a current SPC member who wants to join the Collaborative?

The Challenge

Chemical recycling, also known as advanced recycling, feedstock recycling, or transformative technologies, refers to the various processes that break down waste products into their component chemicals. There are a range of technologies and outputs, and a variety of different applications from these outputs.

In many regards, chemical recycling is being hailed as a promising solution for many hard-to-recycle materials, but, at the same time, cautioned against as energy intensive and difficult to scale. The landscape of chemical recycling technologies is complex and widespread. It can be difficult for a company to understand the potential applications of these new technologies and their relevance towards packaging. For many of these technologies to reach scale it will take significant effort throughout the supply chain from collection of hard-to-recycle materials to end market application of the recycled feedstocks. Many questions demand further exploration:

To answer these, we need to better understand the current landscape of chemical recycling. This landscape includes:

Feedstocks and Outputs
Current Legislation and Policy Impacts
Supply Chain Partnerships
Environmental and Human Health Impacts
Existing and Future Initiatives
Latest Research

Suitable Applications and Design
Infrastructure Development
Standards and Certifications
Technology Deep Dives
Costs vs. Benefits
Objections and Opposition


The aim of this Collaborative is to help companies understand and make sense of the chemical recycling landscape and the role that it plays in circular and sustainable packaging systems. This Collaborative will take a comprehensive approach to the topic, including:

  • Exploring the current landscape of chemical recycling technologies.

  • Identifying the opportunities and challenges of chemical recycling throughout the value chain as it relates to packaging.

  • Holding stakeholder discussions on critical topics in chemical recycling to better understand the range of perspectives and develop informed positions.

  • Developing the framework for a path towards accelerating chemical recycling technologies that contribute to packaging systems that are more sustainable.

Proposed Scope and Goals

Scope: This Collaborative will take a broad approach, examining the entire lifecycle of packaging and chemical recycling considerations at each stage, including design, sourcing, manufacturing disposal, collection, and processing. The scope of technologies explored will include all types that are intended to break down waste via a non-mechanical process, including purification, depolymerization, and conversion.

Goal: Increase awareness and understanding of the range of recycling solutions available and their applications, understand stakeholder perspectives, and identify opportunities for further collaboration or action.

Potential Outcomes:

Are you a current SPC member who wants to join the Collaborative?