PRE: State support necessary to ensure survival of plastics recycling

18.05.2020 − 

Recycling must be included among the sectors supported in the recovery plans being drafted by the EU and its member states, says Plastics Recyclers Europe. To reduce Europe's use of virgin plastics and to ensure the survival of the secondary raw materials market, it was necessary to safeguard the positive developments that had been made, the umbrella organisation said in a statement issued late last week.

Plastic Recyclers Europe (PRE) warned that the European plastics recycling industry was shutting down production due to current market developments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, the health emergency had led to the closure of converting plants, driving down demand for recycled plastics. At the same time, the collapse of international travel and industry shutdowns had made oil very cheap and resulted in record low prices for virgin polymers, PRE.

European plastic recyclers worry that without a viable recycling industry, the only remaining choices for recyclable waste plastics will be landfill or energy recovery. In addition to the grave environmental consequences, damage to the sector would have far-reaching socio-economic impacts due to the extensive employment in the waste management value chain, according to PRE.

"If the situation persists and no action is 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", cautioned PRE's president, Ton Emans.

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