Polypropylene is a thermoplastic “addition polymer” which is used in a variety of applications, including packaging for consumer products, plastic parts for various industries including the automotive industry, special devices like living hinges, and textiles. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it emerged as one of the key inputs in the production of face masks. The shortage of polypropylene prompted several supplier countries to ban its export during the first wave of the pandemic. Thus, the possibility of own polypropylene production inside Georgia has been an important topic of governmental policy and strategy discussion during the COVID-19 epidemic.
The study, initiated by Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) involving researchers from ISET Policy Institute and Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, looks at both the technical and economic feasibility of producing polypropylene on the industrial scale in Georgia using several alternative methods. The resulting report considers two alternatives to polypropylene production in Georgia: (1) primary production of polypropylene using petroleum products and (2) production of polypropylene through secondary treatment of polypropylene solid waste.