US Plastic Recycling

of two

US Recycling Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape for Ultra-Poly, Milliken Chemical, and Addivant including strengths, weaknesses, product portfolio, and revenue have been provided in the attached spreadsheet. The most recent annual revenue we could obtain for Milliken Chemical was as of 2017. Below is a summary of the findings.


  • Ultra-Poly has over 200k square feet of manufacturing space including 9 extrusion lines with a cumulative capacity of 170M pounds that can process 100k pounds of orders within a day.
  • The company is equipped with various machines such as melt indexers, an Izod impact tester, injection molding machines, moisture analysis, among others, enabling the company to provide quality control, load certification, and R&D capabilities.
  • The company also runs a large fleet of vans and bulk trucks enabling them to meet customer and supplier demands more timely and efficiently.
  • Ultra-poly has no locations outside Pennsylvania where the company maintains three offices at Bloomsburg, Portland, and Berwick.
  • Ultra-Poly's product portfolio includes resins and scrap such as specialized plastic, nylon, and color concentrates.
  • The company also offers toll processing of scrap into usable forms, custom compounding of engineered resins, and large scale contractual manufacturing of recycled products.
  • Ultra-Poly has over 45 years of experience in the plastics business where it has garnered industry-leading mechanical and processing expertise where it builds most of its processing equipment and enjoys brand legacy among its customers and suppliers.
  • Ultra-poly's most recent annual revenue is $8.6M as of January 2020.

Milliken Chemical

  • Milliken Chemical holds a large portfolio of specialized additives with a wide range of market applications including agriculture & turf, automotive & transportation, building & construction, coatings, paints & inks, comfort, consumer goods, electronics, home & laundry, industrial goods, medical, and packaging.
  • The company runs an active blog on its website and social media accounts including YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook through which it reaches out to clients and advertises its products.
  • Although the company maintains various offices for North America, Latin America, and Asia, it only has one office in Belgium serving the whole region of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Russia.
  • Milliken Chemical offers a wide range of additives, colorants, concentrates & master-batches, specialty silicons, chemical intermediates, and polyethylene & polypropylene solutions.
  • The company has 471 registered patents in the preparation of organic macro-molecular compounds. The company also has 296 registered trademarks most popularly under textiles and textile goods.
  • The most recent publicly available revenue for Milliken Chemical is $2.5B as of 2017.


  • Addivant, now known as SI Group, maintains a large portfolio of additives with a wide range of applications such as elastomers & latex, tire & rubber compounding, polyolefins, styrenics, polyols, engineering & bio-polymers, and PVC.
  • The company also maintains a global presence with manufacturing, research, and sales facilities located in more than 100 countries.
  • Addivant's brand legacy has been compromised through its mergers & acquisitions, first in May 2013 when it was acquired from Chemtura Corporation and re-branded and in October 2018 when it was merged with SI Group, dropping its name and assuming the name of SI Group in the new merger.
  • The company offers a wide range of antioxidants, antiozonants, curing agents, polymerization inhibitors, chemical intermediates, light stabilizers, and polymer modifiers.
  • The company features a technology solution called Solutions to Breakthrough that seeks to create value through innovation by partnering with clients to provide tailored solutions throughout the life cycle of a product.
  • The merged group's most recent annual revenue is $1.6B as of January 2020.

Research Strategy

To obtain information regarding the competitive landscape for Ultra-Poly, Milliken Chemical, and Addivant, we reviewed their websites and found most of the information readily available. We, however, used business intelligence sites such as ZoomInfo and Crunchbase for revenue since the details were not publicly published on their website. To corroborate the revenue provided by Crunchbase for Milliken Chemical, we searched through the public domain and the most recent revenue report we could obtain was of 2017 which has been provided in this brief.
of two

US Recycling Trends

After an extensive search through market research sites, industry-related sites, and the websites of companies operating in the space, there does not seem to be any publicly available information on trends in the impact modifier space in the U.S. or globally. However, our research did uncover some helpful insights on the market size and drivers which have been included below.

Helpful Findings

  • In 2017, the global impact modifier market size was estimated to be $3.28 billion. From 2018 to 2025, the annual growth rate in the market is projected to be 5.8%.
  • North America holds the second largest share of the global market, behind Asia Pacific, and the U.S. holds the majority share within North America.
  • Industries that are driving growth include construction, automotive and consumer goods, but packaging is the industry most driving growth. Increased use of PVC for multiple purposes is also a growth driver.
  • Impact modifiers are a unique product with no reasonable substitutes.
  • Companies operating in this space include Evonik Industries, Calriant, and Chemtura.

Findings From March 2018 Report

  • A study titled Global Trends in PVC Resin Applications and Additives Usage was published in March 2018 by Townsend Solutions, a company that provides research and consulting in the petrochemical and plastics industry. The report includes some trends in the impact modifiers that are being included below. However, due to the report being almost two years old, and the data for the report being older than that, they are not confirmed as current trends in the industry.
  • CPE, or chlorinated polyethylene, prices had decreased.
  • In the five years prior to 2018, "Ultra High Molecular Weight acrylic PVC processing aids have emerged."
  • "Other new processing aids improve efficiency for processors or require lower loadings, including better compatibility with Ca/Zn heat stabilizer one-pack systems."
  • Arkema developed an impact modifier that features anti-plate out properties.

Research Strategy

We began our research looking for trends in the U.S. natural impact modifier niche of the recycling market on market research sites such as Grand View Research, Research and Markets, and IndustryARC. Although these reports are typically behind paywalls, the summaries generally provide some useful and relevant data about market size, trends, regions, and uses. This research allowed us to determine that the increased use of PVC in North America is driving growth in the region, and the lack of substitutes is contributing to industry growth overall, there was no data specific to trends in the U.S. recycling market.

However, this search did uncover that it appears that "natural impact modifiers" are the same as "impact modifiers" This was determined based on the fact that none of the market reports found mentioned "natural" when describing the impact modifiers. Additionally, although our initial search was specific to natural impact modifiers, the results obtained were about impact modifiers in general. Therefore, we continued our research focused on impact modifiers, in general, that are used in the recycling process.

Our next strategy was to examine waste and/or recycling industry sites such as Waste Dive, Recycling Today, and Resource Recycling to determine if they had published any articles or reports on trends in the impact modifier space. Although we found an article on Nestle supporting a change to a bill about the levels of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content required in plastic bottles, and one on Coca-Cola and combining efforts to advance recycling of plastics in China, there was no information on trends in the impact modifier space.

Finally, we examined the websites of companies that are operating in the space. An article on Recycling Today indicated that Milliken Chemical, Addivant, and DuPont are all manufacturing impact modifiers. Based on a merger that occurred around the time the article was written, Dupont is now known as DowDupont. An in-depth search of each company's website uncovered press release on the modifiers offered and the effectiveness of the modifiers, as well as a description of the products. There was nothing on the company sites that discussed new directions they were heading in or any decision related to the product line that may have provided information on industry trends.