Plastics are, by nature, carbon-based materials, where various sources can provide the carbon. Historically, fossil resources (such as petrol and gas) have been the main carbon sources to make plastics. Although the use of fossil fuel resources as a feedstock for plastics only represents circa 4% of the overall demand of these resources, the willingness of the plastics industry to contribute to the shift towards a more resource-efficient and climate-neutral society makes it progressively diversify its feedstock and increase the use of alternative less finite resources.
Feedstock generated by the recycling of plastics waste and organic feedstock (biomass) are the main alternative sustainable sources that industry has started and continues to develop. In addition, other resources such as CO (carbon monoxide) or CO2 (carbon dioxide) are being explored.