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Plastics recyclers starting to close production as coronavirus pandemic impacts demand

Lack of demand and record low prices for virgin plastics has caused the European recycling industry to decrease production

Plastics recyclers starting to close production as coronavirus pandemic impacts demand

According to a release from Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) the European Plastics recycling industry is closing production due to the current market developments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Major issues cited include a lack of the demand due to the closure of converting plants, and record low prices of virgin plastics, as well as decreased global activity overall.

"If the situation is to persist and no actions are taken to remedy the sector, plastics recycling will cease to be profitable, hampering the attainment of the EU recycling targets and putting in jeopardy the transition towards circular plastics," commented Ton Emans, PRE president.

According to PRE, in such a case, recyclable plastic waste will have no alternatives but to be sent to landfill or incineration

The association says damage to the recycling market would, in addition to the grave environmental consequences, have far reaching socio-economic impacts due to the extensive employment in the waste management value chain. The European plastics recycling industry is now calling on the EU and Member States to include recycling as one of the sectors supported by their Recovery Plans and to continue implementing the measures under the Circular Economy umbrella. 

Safeguarding the positive developments within this market is essential to reduce Europe's use of virgin plastics, according to PRE, and therefore, for the survival of the secondary raw materials market as well as further investments in the sector.

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