Infinite Cycles: Canada’s Innovation Competitiveness in Chemical Plastics Recycling

Infinite Cycles: Canada’s Innovation Competitiveness in Chemical Plastics Recycling

Pages:41 pages68 min read

Author: Babatunde Olateju, Zafer Sonmez


Chemical recycling is an important pillar of plastic innovation. Firms in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere are developing innovative chemical recycling technologies to remedy the limitations of mechanical recycling.

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Document Highlights

Canada lacks industry-specific research, development, and demonstration programs for chemical recycling innovation.

Radical innovations in chemical recycling are crucial to achieving an enduring Canadian competitive advantage. Incremental innovations can be useful where scale and desired environmental outcomes can be achieved in the near term.

The federal government should create vehicles that foster connections and diffuse knowledge across regional institutional networks for chemical recycling in Canada.

Despite being major hubs for petrochemical plastic production in North America, chemical recycling firms headquartered in Alberta and Texas are scarce. California and Quebec have more firms and higher levels of private venture capital investment.

Alberta has the richest talent pool for chemical recycling innovation of all the jurisdictions examined.

Entrepreneurial academics have been instrumental in developing intellectual property and forming chemical recycling firms in Quebec.

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