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Plastics Recycling Threats Outlined

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European association cites lack of demand, margin pressures.

December 12, 2008

The trade group European Plastics Recyclers (EuPR), www.plasticsrecyclers.eu, has warned that the European plastics recycling industry “is under threat due to a combination of circumstances affecting the market.”


In a news release, Brussels-based EuPR notes that the plastics recycling industry has been growing and evolving rapidly, which allowed more than 5 million metric tons of plastic scrap to be recycled in 2007.


But the group cites several rapidly changing circumstances which threaten to reverse the plastics recycling growth. “Firstly, the margins for plastics recyclers vanished due to the implosion of virgin plastics prices combined with the high price of the collected plastic [scrap],” states the EuPR in its news release.

“Secondly,” the group’s statement continues, “there has been a sudden stop of oversees export of plastic [scrap]. EuPR working groups have always stressed that local [scrap] has to find a local solution and that export is a threat to sustainability.”


Adds EuPR, “The abruptness of the export stop created huge logistical challenges and might overstretch the capacity limits of certain collection systems. Moreover, the price of plastic [scrap] did not fall as it could be expected given the market supply and demand situation.”


The association says that EuPR working groups (such as those for PE Films, PET and PVC) “are offering their platforms to facilitate the communication on this issue with all the stakeholders involved in the value chain. The target is to find a way in securing the local European plastics recycling capacities in order to reach the goals set by the European legislator and move further towards a recycling society.”


EuPR says it “promotes plastics mechanical recycling and conditions that enable profitable and sustainable business” and that “ EuPR members bring together 85 percent of European recycling capacity processing more than 5 million metric tons of collected plastics per year.”


Those seeking more information about the group can contact Antonino Furfari at Antonino.furfari@eupr.org.


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